Monday Morning Musings

First off, some Monday fun. My son-in-law came over this past Saturday to help me with a few chores and hung some pictures in my office. One of my sisters made this for me for Christmas, and Matt thought the positioning on the wall suited a picture made by my goofy sister. Silliness runs in our family. Even for in-laws.

I think I may leave the picture crooked for a while. Like I said, silliness runs in our family.

As I languished on the sofa for much of last week because of the mega jump in nerve pain from trigeminal neuralgia, I listened to more news than I probably should have and was dismayed at the stalling of the Infrastructure Deal that the Biden administration is trying to broker. Once more we have partisan politics at play, and once more we have a lot of people in power who have blinders on when it comes to the economic split between the wealthy and the poor in the United States that continues to grow wider.

Consider this:

  • Two men — Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos — own more wealth than the bottom 40% of Americans combined.
  • During the pandemic, U.S. billionaires saw their wealth go up 55% from $2.95 trillion to $4.56 trillion. Just the gains they made over the last year of this pandemic alone could pay for almost 70% of Biden’s jobs plan.
  • U.S. income inequality has returned to Gilded Age levels from the early 1900s. Our inequality levels are the highest of all G7 countries (UK, Italy, Japan, Canada, Germany, France).
  • CEOs at large companies in the U.S. now make 264 times what the average U.S. worker makes. In 1989, the ratio was 58-to-1, and in 1965, it was 20-to-1.
  • Polls show Americans don’t believe the rich pay their fair share, but Republicans keep lowering their taxes. Gallup polls as far back as 1992 have shown that the vast majority of Americans want to tax the rich more. Even then, Presidents Bush and Trump pushed through massive tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans.

stole, er borrowed those facts from a newsletter sent out by Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, and I was glad to see that information laid out so concisely.

Like many people I know, I’d really like to see a better economic balance in our country, as well as a return to a more altruistic way of living where the needs and concerns of others trump greed and selfishness. Not that I favor a communist or socialist society, but wouldn’t it be nice if people paid their fair share of taxes? Then we wouldn’t need legislation to pay for the things so desperately needed.

Okay, end of rant and on to more fun. Considering how I’ve felt physically this past week, this offering from Slim Randles made me snicker. When I decided to share one of his columns today, I had no idea. Read on and enjoy…

Ran into Doc down at The Mule Barn the other day, so naturally we had to rid the world of about a gallon of coffee and solve the world’s problems for an hour. It is the duty of all true Americans of our age, you know.

Doc said he’d been aching a little bit lately. Joints or something. He’d been out fixing the pasture fence where the mare had been pushing on it. The next morning it made him walk funny.

“I remember when my dad was my age,” he said. “I asked him how it felt to be this old. Well, he looked at me as though I were committing a crime by having brown hair, you know? And then he said, “To be this old? Well, I guess it beats the alternative.”

The truth is, the morning coffee drinkers of our area aren’t really old, not inside. We hurt a bit more the next day when we do things, that’s all. And having to walk funny for an hour or so is a small price to pay for our experience.

Being experienced sounds better.

“The other day,” Doc said, “I was down to the feed store, and the kid there took one look at me and carried those heavy sacks out to the truck for me. It was embarrassing, and she shouldn’t have done it.”                         

Brought to you by Ol’ Max Evans, The First Thousand Years, by Slim Randles. www.unmpress.com.

Check out all of Slim’s award-winning books at his Goodreads Page and in better bookstores and bunkhouses throughout the free world.

All of the posts here are from his syndicated column, Home Country that is read in hundreds of newspapers across the country. I am always happy to have him share his wit and wisdom here.

Slim is a veteran newspaperman, hunting guide, cowboy and dog musher. He was a feature writer and columnist for The Anchorage Daily News for 10 years and guided hunters in the Alaska Range and the Talkeetna Mountains. A resident of New Mexico now for more than 30 years, Randles is the prize-winning author of a dozen books, and is host of two podcasts and a television program.

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