Tuesday, October 25, 2022

My Take

I've been listening to and reading a lot of news lately, especially as we lead up to the midterm elections in the U.S. And I've also heard a lot of complaining, too -- about the costs of food, gas and more. And I'm getting tired of it. (Even though I've said a few of those things myself.) But, as many of us are filling out absentee ballots, participating in early voting or planning a trip to the polls,  today I'm going off the grid and taking a diversion from my usual day-to-day topics and offer some food for thought.

Because it's not all about us. It's about something much bigger.

I should add at the beginning here that everyone lives in a different situation and for some, today's current issues are spiraling out of control and this post probably seems pretty "privileged" to you. 

I don't mean it that way. 

But for many, many people, there is a lot of complaining without considering where we fit into the giant scheme of things. And many of us have choices.

Clearly there are some challenging problems with our economy, particularly for those with large families or those who are in underpaid positions (if they are lucky enough to have a job at all -- and given employment numbers being so good, that might be an issue, but I'm still seeing plenty of signs for help wanted). It can be challenging for those on a fixed income. (Aren't we all sort of on a fixed income when you get right down to it).

So, I'm not downplaying those concerns or really even dealing with them here. (Apart from the fact of considering what do you and your family really need? Not want. Need.)

But really, aren't we whining a little too much without thinking about not only how we are part of the problem but could be part of the solution? And how this isn't just a problem in the U.S. but the world? 

There are more important and critical issues for the midterm elections than the economy, which is going to be pretty darned bad no matter who is elected?  

Remember -- we have had inflation and recession before. It doesn't last forever. Not that it's fun -- but it is finite. It's part of a cycle -- not part of a Democrat thing or Republican thing (or whatever political parties might be called in your area.) There are a lot of factors that contribute to it, some political -- but many are just part of the cycle of life events. Think "war." "Covid." "Supply chain."

Some of the issues in the U.S. this year are far beyond finite, not the least of which (from my perspective) is preservation of democracy and our valuable vote. The damage that can come from either party denying well-proved election results or tossing out votes with "alternative electors" will last far beyond us, well into the lifetimes of our children and grandchildren as well. I want my little guys to grow up in a world where their vote will count, where if someone legitimately loses, they don't claim they won but move forward, where they will be able to have choices and feel safe. 

(We all knew the kid who did that when we were in grade school -- we didn't like him.)

I want our beautiful world to last beyond the next generations -- and if we don't address climate change, the repercussions can be significant. I want my little guys to have clean lakes to swim in, clean air to breathe and to be able to experience the world of nature, knowing its creatures are protected. And, if they someday want to, I want them to be able to visit the frozen regions of our world where ice is now falling into the sea and see polar bears and other species that rely on that climate.

And think about it -- aren't we all a little spoiled? We are, after all (and as Rick calls it) The United States of A"ME"rica. We often see things through our personal myopic lens without examining a wider or deeper view.

Again, I want to point out that this "economy thing" isn't just an American issue. It is a world issue. If you live in Europe, you are dealing with lots of these same issues (and in terms of energy, they're in much worse straits than any American.)  Take a look at the chart below.  

credit: O.E.C.D. via the New York Times

Between Covid and the Russian war in Ukraine, we are all affected. And if you live in the UK and are dealing with the aftermath of Brexit, add that to the mix. 

So, fellow Americans, don't go blaming the U.S. politicians or believing those who are trying to pin the blame. The economy mess is universal. 

Which doesn't mean it's fun. Rick filled his car a few weeks ago. It was $75 (he was practically on empty). He has a relatively gas efficient car, a Toyota Camry. I think the last time he bought gas might have been in March. He griped about it. But some folks are doing that -- and more regularly.

Now, he works at home (but then, so do a lot of people since the pandemic). He has a bike and that is both his recreation and preferred mode of travel. He lives four blocks from the grocery. He's an odd case. 

When I filled my car at $4.77/gallon, I paid $40.                        

But I drive my Toyota Corolla much more than he does. I don't like the neighborhood store (they had bad Covid protocol and fewer selections and still, no sales. I cancelled them.) And I like to get out. During the April 1-June 18 period of this year, it was $70.80/in 2021 it was $57.06. Definitely an increase.

Again, neither Rick nor I are driving back and forth to work or carting kids to school. When I filled the car to go to the lake, there was a bit of a gulp. But I can live with that. Because I made a choice. Choices can be exhausting. They can be difficult. But we make them every day.

I have little sympathy for the family of one or two who drive a gas-guzzling SUV, rarely -- if ever -- carrying more than an additional passenger or some groceries in the back. Or the single guy (because it's usually a guy) with the big truck who never carries anything in its flatbed besides the occasional yard sale purchase. 

I'm sorry if that's you. But don't complain to me about gas. (If you have a full load of kids or use your vehicle to haul business items around, that's a different thing.)

By the time you factor in insurance and fuel, it may be less expensive to rent a car, truck or trailer for the occasional longer road trip or to haul something that wouldn't fit in a car.

And SLOW DOWN! I have a little gauge on my car that indicates, as we drive, what our mileage is. When I go 70 or more, it levels off about 35-40 miles per gallon (not bad, I might add); when Rick drives 65, it goes up to about 50 mpg.

People are passing us at 80 and more with their big SUVs and trucks. No wonder they are paying more for gas! I have zero sympathy. Gotta get there five minutes faster than me? Knock yourself out -- but don't complain.

Cutting the cable? I'm doing that as soon as I can round up all my devices to return. I'll add streaming services and an antenna and still save a considerable amount.

It comes to choices. And some of them are hard. But are they bad?

Grocery prices are increasing too. But again, look at your choices. What do you really need? And Can you make choices that are tasty and delicious -- healthy, too -- and maintain a budget, even with a family?

An egg strata feeds a lot of people, is relatively inexpensive to make, makes good leftovers and can be made with or without meat.

Yes, you can. Carole wrote a wonderful post about how she's making some choices and shared a delicious meatball recipe using less expensive ground chicken. Or try Gluten Free from A-Z's great sounding carrot salad. And don't forget our friend "Google" for economical or budget recipes -- you'll have plenty of choices!

You probably are already watching sales. Even with only a fridge-top freezer, I buy up when the price is right. I picked up pork tenderloins at two-for-one this week and I'm going back for more. Buy chicken breasts (or chicken thighs, which are lots less expensive and just as tasty, in the large package, break them up into individual servings or servings for two (or more) and use them as you go along. Or buy a larger pork loin and cut it into thick chops and package individually. (Rick does this and doesn't label them. I call it "Mystery Meat." You might want to have a Sharpie on hand!)

Chicken thighs are still one of the best buys around.

You may not want pasta every night but with one chicken breast, chopped into smaller pieces and sauteed, juice from a lemon or two, your noodle of choice and some herbs and olive oil, you have a terrific pasta dish. Serve it with a salad or add chopped veg, like broccoli or frozen peas and it's a one pot dinner. 

There was a reason our frugal parents served a lot of casseroles. Not only did they feed the family (maybe for more than a day) but they were less expensive to make. And if you watch sales, you may well find two-for-one bags of shrimp (an indulgence, to be sure!) or specials on other meats. 

And what about energy costs? My bill went up this month and it isn't even winter yet. But I keep a warmer house. My choice. This year I will be turning on the heat and putting a turtleneck under my favorite fleece top. Some of us in the U.S. are old enough to remember the Jimmy Carter years when there was an energy crisis. We survived. You will, too. (And yes, it may be a cold, tough, expensive winter. Considering climate change when thinking about whom to vote for isn't bad to add into the mix, either.)

It isn't going to shame us to wear last year's clothes. Skipping a big vacation may be tough -- but have you explored what's practically in your own backyard? I haven't. 

There are plenty of issues to consider when voting this year. For me, it's about protecting our democracy, our climate and our freedom of choice and making sure not one 2020 election denier in our area is elected. This is an issue that affects us forever. And, as there are two more mass shootings in the past couple of weeks, I'm also thinking about crime and the importance of gun reform (which doesn't mean destroying the second amendment). 

I'm also thinking about Ukraine and the fear that the sorely needed financial support that the U.S., along with its world partners, is supplying to help keep democracy alive in this country that is closing in on a year of fighting an invasion that has turned into a war.

Inflation/recession may take a few years and it won't be fun but it will level out. It has in the past, it will again. We can make it easier or harder by how much we complain and how much we modify our own actions -- or not. 

But what counts most of all is that you vote.

For you the issues may be something different. But remember, we are all co-responsible for how we handle challenges. We can make choices and changes. It may not mean they are permanent but they will get us through. 

If nothing else, think about the future beyond yourself. 

Remember the children. They have castles to build and mountains to climb.

(I'm leaving comments on for this post but won't be replying directly. You may well have different opinions than I. I will publish only comments that are written with respect and that do not use inappropriate language, whether I agree with them or not. The fact that I even have to mention this makes me very sad.)


Rustic Pumpkin said...

I'm replying to this with tears in my eyes because I made the kind of changes you're talking back in the 80s when climate change was a mere glint of a threat on the horizon At the cost of being called a lot of negative things, and being dismissed as over reacting, I took it very seriously, made lots of changes to my lifestyle including becoming vegetarian, reducing my thermostat, lessening my impact on the planet by recycling, walking instead of driving. I've lived frugally for a long time with the occasional treat but now even the occasional treat is outside my remit because of the escalating prices in everything. Now that I've lost my job I have no income and so even things like heat and food have become luxuries for me. Turning off the heat is already starting to impact on my health and I have no idea what the outcome of this is going to be. You've only got to read on my blog where I've mentioned about my escalating Asthma and we're not even in winter yet. We’re anticipating rolling blackouts, and essential services are already starting to strike over work conditions. I could go on but I won't because we've got a long road ahead of us and it's a hard road. Sure we've been in this situation before but has it ever been quite as bad as this, and has it ever been global, following a pandemic and with a war thrown in the mix? When I look at the mess we're in right now and I think of my 40 years of lifestyle changes and sacrifices I feel as if I'm being kicked in the teeth by everything.

roentare said...

So very true. What goes up must come down. Vice versa. Part of life to go up and down. The meat ball looks fabulous. A snow season on your end too

acorn hollow said...

We vote and I impressed on my daughter how important it is to vote. I am proud to say she does. I do not think we have to agree but we have to respect each other the name calling, and violence is unacceptable!
Yes we have all made choices for our families or for ourselves on how we want to live. And yes, I believe things are going to get worse before they get better. So, we do not go out to dinner every Thursday night and we don't order out ever. We go once in a while maybe once a month instead of 4 times a month.
And because we have complained of the prices and food for the past couple of times, we think we just may not bother going out to dinner this winter. I still work and it doesn't take much to get a full dinner on the table. With all the air friers and insta pots in the world it should not take any time at all. I shop grocery sales, Keep the heat a notch lower, combine my errands, and watched my electricity consumption. The pennies make dollars.
And yes, I complain and worry about it all.

Pamela said...

Excellent post! I feel much the same way. Democracy is the most important thing on the ballot this year. Everything else is the short term and won’t even matter so much if we lose the democracy. Like you said, we’ve been through inflation and other things before and lived through it. We all need to look at the big picture. Great tips! Thank you Jeanie.

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

Great post!

Very depressed one winter, I struggled to cook. So I supplemented with frozen dinners. It did not take long to notice the meat dinners I like were frequently sold out. That is when I notice there are a lot of pasta based dinners aka same price but cheaper to make than meat dinners aka better profit. I don't know if that is true. I don't have the numbers. I do know as a consumer what I see. And what I see is what it is.
Meat, greens grains, and fruit...if folks stick to those without buying prepared foods, then our economy might look better.
Give up my McD will never happen.

And now, our choice opportunities are dwindling.

Seriously, people are suffering. Yet, each week there are reports on the millions of dollars movies made over the weekend. Millions that could feed people and fill their gas tanks.


William Kendall said...

Very wisely said.

My name is Erika. said...

I am getting tired of the sales pitches each party is making. I will admit I am still angry about a woman's right to chose about their own bodies, so I am a bit biased about each party. But inflation, as you said, is short term. And high gas prices have nothing to do directly with the present government. It's not like the government sets the price of gas. I also want to hear solutions to the problems, but one party is not giving any of those, just complaining about what is, preying on people's fears. I find it as frustrating that people buy into those fears. And trying to make the present government look like it is lying, which is what a former president did do, and continues to do. There is a billboard on one of the major roads around me that says democrats hate you. That's all it says. Which is just plain threatening and narrow minded. OK, that is my rant. Sorry to go on so much, but I know what you are saying about wanting to leave this world for the future. hugs-Erika

Sandi said...

I think it matters who is in office.

But really, what we need is the Lord. That's the answer.

Misadventures of Widowhood said...

A well time post and reminder that with this election we can't think of just ourselves. We have to think bigger---in terms of saving the democracy for the next generation. If we don't stop the cancer growing in the conspiracy segment in our population, its going to erode us into a third world country without peaceful transfers of power or respect for the Rule of Law.

Rita said...

Totally agree! Democracy is on the line. The bigger picture is what is most important. Great post, Jeanie! :)

eileeninmd said...

Hello Jeanie,
Well said, I agree with everything you mentioned. I think our democracy is more important than anything else right now. I do worry when they say they want to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, in turn they just make cuts for the super wealthy. They will not be helping the economy only making it worse. I voted already and now I can only hope our election is fair and honest. Take care, enjoy your day!

DUTA said...

The problems are global. Globality of the last decades is the main reason why problems cannot and will not be solved. The world is heading towards shortage and chaos, slowly perhaps, but steadily.

Most people are aware of that, but prefer to ignore the facts and take refuge into their alternative world of trips, food, reading, TV etc..telling themselves that it's all a matter of cycles and that things will get better. I don't think so.

David M. Gascoigne, said...

It is self-evident that in a world of globalization no country is immune from external forces, but their response to it will speak volumes. As for democracy in the United States, I regretfully cannot come to any conclusion other than that is is moribund and set to expire. If the Republicans control the House and Senate after the midterm elections the die will have been irrevocably cast. I recommend to everyone Chris Hedge's "America, the Farewell Tour."

Carole @ From My Carolina Home said...

Hear hear! We have to have faith in our systems or we have nothing.

On the food front, thanks for the shout out to the chicken meatballs. I've also been experimenting with meatless meals, like Butternut Squash Lasagne, really inexpensive and goes a long way.

Elli Fant said...

I am absolutly your opinion . You describe really everything which is important and true.
And also in Europe people are complaining all the time and they believe what right populists tell them. It is terrible, that now we have right governments in Sweden, Hungary, Italy and so on. Mrs. Le Pen in France gets more and more sympathy by the people and perhaps becomes the next French president.
In Germany we have the AFD, a terrible right party with lots of nazis. In Germany!!! I can't believe it. What a shame!!
And all those parties don' t believe in the climate change, it becomes a desaster, if more of these parties will be elected.
Normally I am a positive thinking human being, but more and more it leaves me.
I am happy and proud of people like you and your opinion and I agree that we must save our democracies .
Thank you Jeanie for your words ! And let us hope,that the war in the Ukraine will stop soon. People there suffer so much.
Iris (alias former Herzblatt )

It's me said...

My dear Jeanie …good spoken post…I am verry worried about everything in the world….I don’t now where it stops…so worried about the war in Oekraรฏne…and than my own problems…my o my…I hope better times will come…but I think that will not be soon…I hope and pray that I find my new home …I am verry worried to lost my house and not finding a new place to life with my darling Leaf… but I survive to put my problems into gratitude…and life day by day and be thankful for the things I have….and believe me that is not much…but be thankful with what you have….we life in freedom…and have no war …love from me and a blessed g hug from me ๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ€๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ€

Judy said...

Thank You!

Steve Reed said...

Bravo. You are so right to remind us to see "the big picture" and think about the preservation of our remarkable political system, as well as important international issues like climate change and international aggression. Vote, everybody, and don't succumb to cynical, conspiratorial ideas like "it doesn't matter" or "my vote will be stolen"!

It's me said...

Dear Jeanie

What beautiful words, and yes we live in a difficult time.
You hear the same concerns and problems everywhere.
I am also still worried about my own life, finding a new home is the biggest of my life I think, I hope it will work out in time.
I am now living my life to turn my worries into gratitude.
And that's my salvation to get through this, I'm happy and thankful that we don't have to live in a war that we still have our freedom.
Despite all the high costs and very little money I still manage to work and build my new life, and am grateful that I can.
I often get food from friends, and I can still afford Leaf's food.
And hope for better times someday, big hug from me and from Leaf of course...๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ€๐Ÿพ๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ™

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Great post. You were brave to post this because you open yourself up to lots of vitriol. I think/hope your readers know you well enough to keep any mean comments to themselves. I agree with what you have said. And since I work in asset management, we talk about inflation ad nauseum. It is painful, but it will eventually subside. And it is not related to who is in office necessarily. The seeds of inflation were planted through aggressive monetary and fiscal support - which were necessary during the great financial crisis and the covid crisis. But there is a cost to those policies (which probably stayed in effect for too long - but who had a crystal ball to see how bad things would be). And then add in the black swan event of covid which impacted supply chains and it was a perfect storm. I am not surprised that the Republican party is using inflation as a major campaign point, though, and sadly many will not be able to see that it wasn't driven by Joe Biden in 1.5 years he's been in office.

I think you know that I used to lean more conservative up until the 2016 election cycle. When Phil and I met in 2012, we voted differently and it did not impact our relationship but we talk about how voting for Trump is so much different than voting for previous Republican candidates. The party has changed so much so I think I will forever be a moderate who will tend to vote for democrats. So I am proof that a person can change their mind and recognize that their values do not align with the party they used to vote for you. I value the same things as you do - caring for the environment, recognizing climate change is real and creating policies to leave a better world for the next generation, making voting accessible and easy, etc etc.

The last several years have been absolutely brutal and that's a large part of why I am off social media. I wish I could unsee some of things I saw on FB during the 2016 election and the pandemic. My view of people is forever changed and I have less faith in our society. I am trying to believe that we will get through this. I think of the documentaries we watched about the late 1960s. That must have been a terrifying time with the assassinations of MLK, Robert Kennedy, etc. The country was so at odds with one another. This was before my time so I didn't personally experience the path to a more united union but I hope that we will not be so at odds... but I think social media has been a terrible things for democracy. Lies are spread far too easily and it sickens me to hear what lies others are believing about election fraud, conspiracy theories about covid, bullsh*t about vaccines having microchips, etc. Those kind of lies could not be spread so easily before the advent of social media. But the genie is out of the bottle so I don't know how to solve that problem...

Pat said...

Amen sister! Good thoughtful comments…

Valerie-Jael said...

Yes, we are in for a hard winter and perhaps a few lean years, but we will get through it. 'Moaning never helped nobody' was a fave saying of my auntie, and I still think of it a lot! A lot of people are permanently much worse off than those of us in Europe and America. Hugs, Valerie

NanaDiana said...

Lots and lots of food for thought (some of it literal) here today. I agree with you on so many points. Our children/grandchildren are certainly being raised in a different world than the one we grew up in. Status is a big thing for so many people and that might involve a vehicle or the clothes they wear. It is what it is and I am a live and let live sort of gal. I try to do my part to improve the world because I think every little bit of change helps.

Great post! I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday- xo Diana

Vagabonde said...

Your words are eloquent and wise – I could not add anything to them. I have been out of the country these last 3 weeks in one of the most remote places on earth. I went to the Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia, in the South Pacific. It is a group of 15 isolated islands about 935 miles north of Tahiti. These people are very happy with hardly any wi-fi or cell phone access, no airports, and very few stores, and a pretty hard way to make a living. They voted against an international airport in the main island to avoid mass tourism. I heard no news in 3 weeks and it was so relaxing. Now I have to prepare to travel 5 hours in two weeks to vote in Atlanta. Your words brought me back to reality. I wish more people would look at the rest of the world as you say to understand that what they have here is good and they need to vote to keep it that way and to even make it better for future generations.

DeniseinVA said...

A great post Jeanie and lot to digest. You have done a marvelous job of putting a lot of our thoughts into words and I thank you for it. I am bookmarking this so that I can come back and read again.

R's Rue said...

Thank you for sharing

Susan said...

Fantastic post! You made so many excellent points.

Bill said...

Well said, Jeanie. Your words tell the truth and some people don't want the truth.

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

Jeanie, I appreciate this post so much, my friend! We were talking about all of your points on our walk this morning. We have always lived quite frugally so we could travel. It has been our choice for 55 years. Your pictures of the boys says it all for me! Our grandchildren are our serious worries for the future and those that come after. Yes, we must all vote!!! We vote absentee ballots and they are already counted by our county officials. I really hope these midterm elections have a great turnout and that folks take it very seriously! Again, thank you for your wonderful words!

gigi-hawaii said...

Yours are all very good suggestions on how to economize on a fixed income. As you say, the economy works in cycles. This, too, shall pass.

Mae Travels said...

Your emphasis on personal responsibility with using resources like food and fuel for cars & heating has lots of important points. Alas, I’m not sure that individual responsibility and initiative is any longer an effective solution to the world’s perils. The threats to food supplies and security of many homes and even whole cities come from unleashed forces of climate change, and it’s not clear that any action, even collective action, can change the inevitable. Another setback to collective action was in the news this morning: climate pledges have been ignored, and the speed of warming the planet is accelerating.

Not to mention the end of democracy because of greedy, deceptive, and power seeking right-wingers.

very sorry to say this… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Carol @ The Red Painted Cottage said...

Jeanie, Thank you for speaking the truth about our democracy being on the table. This midterm election could be the make or break of our country. After what happened on January 6, it’s hard to believe that so many citizens believe the election was rigged and that Trump really won. I get so worked up about all this that sometimes I have to retreat from the news and read great books instead. I think of our grandchildren and our future great grandchildren.

Joanne Huffman said...

Very well and positively stated. I do not feel particularly hopeful that those who need to understand these points would listen to them.

This N That said...

Good post but I am very weary of the whole thing.

Marilyn Miller said...

Amen! Well stated. I think often about what are we leaving our children, grandchildren, and further generations. I am going to add a concern to for respecting others that are different than us. Very concerned this week about antisemitism. This is just getting crazier and crazier and some don't want to teach the children the truth. I did vote and my vote has been counted.

Anonymous said...

Excellent! And as someone who was in her teens and early 20s in the late 60s/early 70s, I would say the nation’s vibe then wasn’t even close to the tragic extremes we’ve been experiencing since 2016. I have no idea how we heal, but our priority right now must be saving our democracy.

Anvilcloud said...

The world is going through this inflation thing right now. In Canada people tend to blame it all on Trudeau. Americans can blame him too if it helps. ๐Ÿ˜‡

Joyful said...

I do think there are many, many people in poverty and so what is happening now both globally and locally is a real concern. When a person is hungry or not sure how they are going to pay rent or mortgage or keep warm, democracy is probably the last thing on their minds though it is important. I remember when USSR collapsed and the people moved to capitalism, there were a great lot of people who were not happy with the change because they no longer had food to eat. Or at least that is what the reporters on television were reporting and I know that one can get a very skewed sense of the world and events within countries based on news reports. There are so many interests at play and those that control the airwaves control the news. Anyway, I'm digressing. I just wanted to say that in some places at least in Canada, close to 50 of people are really on the brink of economic collapse and are as frugal as they can possibly be. We aren't in election mode here nationally but maybe the stats are the same south of the border. Whatever the situation, it is important to get out and vote and exercise your voice that way. Sadly, many people won't take a bit of time to actually research a person's ideologies or voting history or platform to see who might be a good candidate. I wish you and your countrymen well with the vote.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Nicely put Jeanie. I might add that if Kevin McCarthy takes over the House, he promises to stop aid to Ukraine. That should bother some.

You didn't even mention reproductive rights. Those grandsons of Rick's are BOYS. Would either of you feel different if you knew that his granddaughter might not be able to be in control of her own body? What if she was raped? Would she be forced to carry her rapist's baby to term?

That leads to the fear that after reproductive rights are taken from us, next would come birth control. After that, it won't be long until my LGBTQ friends will have to go back in the closet after fighting hard for equality.

I realize you mainly focused on economy, gas prices, and energy, but there are also things people may not be as concerned about that seem to bother a few of us. Don't get me wrong. I appreciate your well written words. I appreciate your sincerity. I just wanted to add there are also other things to consider when we go to the polls this year.

Iris Flavia said...

I very much agree with you!
Last year´s clothes? I still wear some (at home now only) I bought at age 18.
My Gurri was so "cheap" because from year(s) before.
You certainly cannot compare our countries. Here they discuss "money for nothing" - "basic money" they call it. Won´t work in my eyes and I don´t wanna go into detail...
I certainly did vote and made no difference other than I gave respect to those who fought for us to be able to do so!
Our current chancellor is a clown who promises (esp to Ukraine) a lot and never fulfills it, he is a shame.

I think you can draw the line like this: Once rich politicians forget about the people they should take care for.
Most lie and betray and have little knowledge of their job.
Walk in high heels to soldiers in Afghanistan says it all, no?
Lying.. or half-lying, yes, she studied, but 20 semesters and no diploma....
I could go on, I won´t, we sit in one boat and yes, it could be worse.
We could sit in a war country....

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I forgot to mention that if my house wasn't paid for, I would likely have to go on welfare. I live on next to nothing and have the slowest internet around, don't own a cell phone, and spend no more than $40.00/month on food. Eating out and taking trips is a luxury. In fact, I haven't taken a trip in over four years, except to go with my friend Scott to visit a sick friend, for which all I had to do was buy my own breakfast. I'm not just frugal, I'm cheap.

Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

Thank you for this thoughtful and brave post. Some people will hate it. That's their choice. I found it refreshing. I hate politics. I'm sorry to admit I hate politicians. Election campaigning starts too early, lasts too long, and everyone says the opponent is the devil himself. I think there should be limits to when you can campaign, how long it is, and how much money is spent. Life would be better without all the hatred. It makes me sick.

Mary Rose's said...

Well written, as always, and brave.

Let's vote for our HOPES, and not for our fears.

tahoegirl.blog said...

You have said everything so well. Democracy is on the line here. The radical right is trying to create a White Christian Nation and more. Taking away a women's right to decide her own reproductive needs is abhorrent , and what's next LGBTQ rights( which are already threatened in Florida)? We must vote for equality.

Sandi Magle said...

Great Post....and yes, we have the benefit of going through some of this before. Only during the Viet Nam war did I feel that our democracy had faltered. In the end, Nixon's resignation proved the system worked. I don't understand why we are still dealing with the high levels of selfish ignorance that we have suffered through in the last 10 years. I agree one-hundred percent on everything you said, and yes, I thought my parents were frugal...but I've been doing some of the same things for the last 10 years. My two wardrobe purchases this year were 2 cardigans at Goodwill, each with the new tags still on...? Because we will be keeping our thermostat lower. Consuming foreign goods to the point of donating new merchandise because you didn't get around to wearing it when it was IN is criminal for our minds and for the planet. Slowly I am gleaning myself of all blogs that sell, sell, sell--ad, ad, ad...they only pander to this 'consume' mentality. HUGS, for being brave and spreading TRUTH! Sandi

Divers and Sundry said...

Well said! Amen and amen!

I'm not feeling very hopeful... :(

Sandra Cox said...

I'm very concerned about what is going on here and abroad, and very nervous about the election.

Anonymous said...

Cath here from Australia.
You are right in all you said. High inflation here but the big corps are still making big profits hmmm.
Extensive flooding has wiped out food crops in large areas here and in Sub Saharan Africa. East Africa has had years of drought. Ukraine's crops are now missing. Terrible world food shortages are the result. People are truly starving in Africa.
Climate change needs to be reigned in now, before it's too late because we are fast running out of time.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

This was definitely a well thought out post, Jeanie, and I commend you on posting it at the risk of receiving any negative comments. However, from all that I read, and also know about your fellow bloggers, it seems that nearly everyone is in some sort of agreement with what you posted, myself included.

I cannot understand how some people are managing in this economy given all the Help Wanted signs posted. There are countless ones where we live, in retail, grocery stores, the state wine & liquor store, post office...the list goes on and on and from what I've heard, the same is also true in other parts of the country. How are people managing if they do not want to work is such a mystery. Countless times, we see what look like able-bodied, younger than ourselves men, standing by roadsides holding homeless signs while smoking or holding a cell phone - really? There's an older gentlemen who has maintained the same spot near a busy shopping center with a sign saying he's "homeless" and that's been the same situation for the past 6 years - really again? There was a time that I would $ to them, but not now.

At times, we've considered a part time job, but reconsider as we can "make do." We put in many years in the work force, starting in our teenage years as like many others within our age group.

This doesn't mean we do not economize in many of the ways you mentioned. Living close to a downtown area, I walk everyplace - library, post office, retail pharmacy, even a grocery store (when the list is not too long). My car is a 2007 with none of the fancy electronics on my husband's newer 2019 model, purchased used, after his 2009 became too costly to repair. How do folks with a large SUV or trucks manage the cost of gas?

We do not shop for the latest fashions and a thrift store "find" is preferable as is an outlet store.

Who needs streaming services when the local library offices books, which can be downloaded as an e-book or audio book, CDs and DVD movies. There's also Hoopla and Kanopy which provide more downloadable options - free with a library card, which is also free.

Dining out is nice, but as you noted, home cooking is less costly and you can become quite creative. As you noted, there are ways to use leftovers creatively and without meat. Frittatas and egg bakes with lots of veggies are often go to meals. When on sale, chicken thighs and pork tenderloins are good buys; beef is not usually on a shopping list, aside from a chopped meat sale because meat loaf and cottage pie not only includes veggies, but leftovers are even better.

Costs are rising here as well for heat and electricity. Colder weather in your area and here too. Flannel sheets and comforters, wearing layers and cupfuls of tea is in our future.

Travel is nice if it's planned and can be afforded. Next year we're going on our first trip abroad (a belated anniversary present). It will replace the ill-fated Canadian rail excursion cancelled 3 years ago and the cost is actually less.

I've rambled on long enough, many of us have choices and will decide what works best in our situation. Complaining is not the answer.

DVArtist said...

Good post. Part of the problem in the US is that people are beyond angry. Those people blame others and nothing is ever solved that way. We will have to wait and see how the midterms go and who will accept the results and who won't. There are a lot of issues on the table, for me, it is democracy we are on the edge of losing it. I voted last week.

Sandra Cox said...

Have a spooktacular weekend.
Things just ratcheted up, didn't they?

ashok said...

Great analysis Jeanie. Interesting to read your perspective

Linda Stoll said...

Thanks for the reminder to open our eyes, our hearts, and our creativity. These challenges are nothing new. Our memories tend to be short, don't they.

May the writing of your post give you clarity and peace, dear one.

Amy at Ms. Toody Goo Shoes said...

THANK YOU for writing this post, Jeanie. I am terrified about the midterm elections, because yes, the stakes are that high, as you point out. What some don't seem to understand is that gas prices and inflation will be the least of our problems, if our democracy crumbles. Sadly, that is not hyperbolic. With so many state legislators on the midterm ballots who won't ensure free fair elections, we are headed toward autocracy. The will of the people will be overturned if elections aren't won by who they want, our rights will evaporate (now some are talking about banning contraception!), and the economy? Well, autocracies aren't known for strong economies, so that isn't something that will be fixed. Sad and scary times we live in.

crackercrumblife said...

Hear, hear. Well said! I agree with all of this. Our family has been making lots of choices, and some not so fun, but it won't kill us. We dropped cable when Wyatt was born and have not looked back. We eat meatless 3 meals at least a week, and I buy meat the same way as you do. I will also buy things like kielbasa which is inexpensive, or ground turkey or ground sausage. We use up our leftovers. Try to do inexpensive things for fun, stay home more to save on gas. Homeschooling has helped with that! Lol. I try to buy used a lot,and I use the library for most of our books. And while we are feeling the pinch, we are managing.

Elli Fant said...

Ich denke nicht, dass Olaf Scholz ein Clown ist.Machen Sie es sich mit dieser Aussage nicht ein bisschen zu einfach? Hรคtten Sie im Moment lieber Herrn Merz oder Herrn Sรถder als Kanzler?

Lowcarb team member said...

A very good post.

All the best Jan

Painting the hamptons said...

Thank you, YES!

Carola Bartz said...

Jeanie, I wholeheartedly agree with your thoughts. I do have to say, though, that so many people live at poverty level in such a rich country as the US is shameful, and I do understand if these people have other things on their mind than the state of our democracy. If your kids are looking at you hungry and you might lose your place to live, your mind is certainly on other issues. And unfortunately, there aren't just a few of them. Shameful.
Yes, our democracy is at stake here and it scares the heck out of me. At the same time, living in California, especially here in our county, I feel helpless because my vote actually won't change anything. It won't put a dent into national politics. At the same time, it looks like we will have a horrible Speaker of the House from California next year - as you can see, I am very pessimistic about the midterms.
I already voted - voting is so easy in CA, and I'm grateful for this. I'm not watching the news - we don't watch TV - , I'm reading the local paper and the NYT as well watching the German news which has a very different perspective. And no, the German chancellor is definitely NOT a clown. But I digress...
I'm pessimistic, and still I hope. Personal responsibility is important, but I think we need more than that. Unfortunately, people in the US are entitled and spoiled and not able to see the big picture (of course not all of them; I think you know what I mean). What gives me hope that there are so many fine people here as well, people who care not only about their own life but about that of others as well as for the planet. I don't want to give up on this country...

Bohemian said...

An excellent Post my Friend. I have always said that if we are not part of the Solutions, we ARE part of the Problems. So many things I hear the average American complaining about are truly First World Problems tho' and the Solutions available could be implemented, but that would take a modicum of discipline and adjustment to a Lifestyle many aren't willing to give up to Solve their perceived 'Problems'.

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