We have talked about the shortage of truckers, and the resulting supply chain issues — but from my perspective, there are seemingly as many trucks on the road in Western and parts of Central New York as there were before the pandemic. I travel to schools all over the area, down south into Horseheads and Elmira in the Southern Tier, west to Fredonia, and east past Ithaca to Spencer-Van Etten. In those travels, at all times of the day, sometimes starting as early as 5:30 a.m., there are plenty of trucks slowing me down on the Thruway, interstates, and back roads. It makes me wonder if the shortage is, in fact, regional.
On a different subject, in my CARE Financial Literacy presentations, when we talk about the need to save, I tell the students that the largest increase in individual bankruptcies pre-pandemic was people 65 and older. In part it was because many of them did not save enough for retirement, and they were still addicted to living above their means with credit cards. That is why I am a little concerned after hearing a recent report that the rate of retirements post-pandemic is three times higher than pre-pandemic. It is certainly something that I will continue to track and perhaps report on.
On another subject, we have talked a lot about Americans being willing to go into debt for non-needs in this hyper-consumer, debt-is-OK society. We also have talked about how, in November of 2019, 34 million Americans were still paying off their credit card charges from Christmas of 2018, as if Christmas snuck up on them that year, so they weren’t financially ready for it with savings for those expenses. That is why I wanted to be, but wasn’t, shocked at a recent report that indicated that 40% of those surveyed said that they would be willing to go into debt this holiday season to make themselves or someone else “happy.” Is it just because of the pandemic?
On yet another subject, I can’t tell you how many people come up to me and want to talk about “fair share” of taxes, and more and more of them seem to think that the idea of both a Flat Tax and a Goods and Services Tax seems to solve much of the fair share and taxing hidden/unreported income issues. By the way, none of them make over $400,000 per year.
We may have covered this, but an October Wall Street Journal letter to the editor once again laid it out this way: “Per the Tax Foundation: The top 1% earn 20.9% of all adjusted gross …….