No. 763,
September 3, 2014

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Au contraire, It's a Wonderful Life!

I am really unhappy with the description “swirling maelstrom of shit masquerading as the world we live in today”. I’ve processed it for a day and half and just disagree. Life above ground ain’t so bad. I hope it is just literary license that was exercised. (I’m going to put this with “swinging dickism” and wait for Jamie Kitman to plagiarize you once again.)

May all your maelstroms be sweet.

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Different world.

This week's Rant reminds me of a phrase from the early 1990's as I struggled to understand some of the stupidity in the auto industry. "Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM."

Boy is it a different world now.

Chuck S.
Royal Oak, Michigan

Purging the mediocrity.

How do we flush out the mediocrity which is devouring us ? How about starting with the schools that graduate those who can't read or write ? And then flush the corrupt press while we're at it.

Cleveland, Ohio

IndyCar's downward spiral.

As an example of how IndyCar is just flying the whole enterprise into the ground is exemplified by the upcoming finale at Fontana. The schedule shows nothing worth paying for on Saturday until the race, which begins at 10:20 pm Eastern. With tickets starting at $50 they may have to be given away by the thousands, like in Milwaukee, rather than have the stands look too embarrassingly empty. But, then at that hour on a Saturday night of a Labor day weekend, there won't be too many viewing anyway.

Rick M.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The IndyCar Fantasy schedule.

I like it.  The clowns at 16th and Georgetown never think out of the box.

Bob S.
Cummings, Georgia

From the "Don't Let The Bastards Win" File.

Ilegitimatus non carborundum.

Mike D.
Flushing, Michigan  


Oh the horror, the horror.

I don't quite go as far as you... things aren't that bad.  What we have seen are a few big players move the big levers, making it harder for the average guy to get ahead or stay even.  Macy's becomes Wal Mart.  Aspiration for a Pontiac over a Chevy becomes a 72 month note on a Kia.  There is no lake cabin rental.  Working class toys like cycles, snowmobiles and quads don't sell.  

At some point, even the schleppers realized that the game was changed... and the winners were those with the negative, greedy habits. (Buy company, fire workers, leverage their pension fund, buy third beach house, G5 to get there)  Greed works... Gordon Gekko.
We are seeing this in car markets where there are cheap cars, and a small and highly competitive luxury class.  The returns on the cheap cars requires volume, not as much for the luxury class.  

I drive one route where folks come from the cheaper housing toward NYC.  Thousands of cars pass me in the other direction, and there are zero cars that any enthusiast would find interesting.  Endless camcord in silver and dull grey... that there aren't any middle class aspirational cars shows the "hanging on" aspects of this.  Driving through their burbs is the same.  House, two cheap cars out front...

Colleges know this.  Tuition costs represent "keep YOUR kid in the top 10%" ransom.

How to fix ?  Unknown, but clearly Ross Perot was correct.

Casey Raskob, Esq
Croton on Hudson, New York