Well, I’m sorry. I guess like most of the nation I have been too preoccupied with the latest escapades of Britney Spears. I’ll admit it. Seeing her being wheeled into the hospital was compelling TV, even after the 100th or so time it was on the news. But then this morning as I was getting in my five miles on the treadmill the talking heads were opining about a recession.
What? Can a recession happen that quickly? I don’t know. I guess that’s why public relations majors at Kent State these days are required to take some business courses.
Now just about everyone in Washington is racing around, recommending an economic stimulus package. Hmm. Must be an election year. President Bush outlined his plan yesterday – a proposed package of about $145 billion in tax cuts for individuals and businesses. Mission Accomplished! Well, not yet. Even with bipartisan support in Congress it will take months before any money actually gets into anyone’s pocket.
And Dana Perino, the White House press secretary, didn’t have any specific details of the president’s proposal. But she did tell Today’s Amy Robach that markets go up and markets go down. Admittedly, that is taken way out of context. But that’s why I’m blogging and not working as a journalist. I also wanted to include a reference to Dana Perino so that I would have a reason to link to Bill Sledzik’s ToughSledding blog. There is really an interesting and important discussion there about women and public relations.
For those of you thinking about retiring some day (even if it is 40 years away) now would be a good time to take a look at your 401k plan and/or IRA. I’m fairly fortunate. I’m one of the older baby boomers, and I have a vested pension. That was typical years ago. Not so anymore.
So as long as you are working you are going to have to follow the wisdom that markets go up and markets go down. And hope for the best, I guess. Because good investment advice is tough to find. I have an IRA with Merrill Lynch, the nation’s largest brokerage firm. Merrill Lynch just reported a fourth-quarter loss of $9.8 billion, related in large part to bad investments in home mortgages. I’m hoping that my account fared at least a little better. Seriously, give your retirement and other savings accounts some thought. It’s important and there are good sources available online. Check out The Motley Fool, as one example. And particularly for those of you just getting started, ask advice from someone you trust.
In this environment where a recession has now been added to our mix of other problems, voters go to the polls tonight in South Carolina in the Republican primary. I don’t know if this means anything or not – but remember, Mike Huckabee is a marathoner.
And that gets me to my last random thought. For my running friends who now live in Florida and Georgia, remember when we used to run in the winter when the temperatures were well below zero? Well the wind chill forecast for tomorrow morning in Akron is minus 10. Any chance you guys want to get here and meet at the state park at 5 a.m.?