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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

State of the Nation

State of the Nation
Never want to upstage someone as important as the leader of the free world.  I only mean that in the sense of posting my perspective of where the Nation is at, ahead of his State of the Union speech.
Every once in a while aging does come with benefits:  knowing from experience what to expect with regard to a pep talk (which a State of the Union speech is meant to be).  When you hear enough of this speeches and then live through the period of time that follows you learn to read between the lines.  I would be the last person to say that a politician lies but they do embellish, and you have to give them credit, they are optimistic about how they can improve things with their plans for us.
If you want to get a real feeling for how the nation is doing you should consider that not everyone is affected in the same exact way at the same exact time by prevailing conditions, political or otherwise.  I’ve always measure improvements by getting it down to the lowest common denominator.  First of all, how am I (my home) doing since the last State of the Union speech?  The next level might be to assess the status of your job or business.  The next most important measure to an individual should be, the family.  How are your children doing?  How are your brothers and sisters doing?  How about your parents:  the ones that can least afford a negative condition in the state of the nation.  Before you counter; some of our elderly that have had a nice life may actually be in better shape economically to withstand a temporary downturn in the economy.  However, generally speaking elderly population with a fixed incomes have limited ability to withstand even temporary downturns.
Now for the tools to measure how we are doing.  Take a look at the property tax statement for your home, if you are one of the fortunate people to own or to be buying your home.  You can usually see a comparison from your past property valuation to your next increase or decrease in valuation, and taxes due.  Take a look at your bank account are your savings stable or has it been declining?  Check your credit card balances are your credit card balances down or up?  Certain things affect us all equally, as an example the unusually cold weather we are experiencing in parts of the nation.  According to some news reports utility bills are doubling in some areas because of the extreme and prolonged cold weather.  If your personal situation is stable, you should be able to withstand the fluctuation in your utility bills, but if you are not doing well, it could be the difference between buying groceries and keeping warm.
Another area to measure is the security issues that have been prevalent in the news.  Are you more concerned about privacy with regards to electronic communications?  Are you experiencing problems with your health coverage (have you recently been dropped?)?  Has your health coverage costs increased significantly?  Most of us can withstand the flu or a cold, maybe even a sprained ankle without insurance.  However, a major surgery event in the family can bankrupt you, if you can even get medical care without insurance.
It turns out that I am not reporting the State of the Nation, instead I am giving you some ideas on how to evaluate on your own.  Having read the State of the Nation post, how are you and yours doing?  The best is yet to come……

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