Note: The market was a little volatile yesterday. If you’re in it on margin (borrowed money), that’s a mistake. If you own stocks you don’t really understand, and whose valuations you can’t defend based on reasonable assumptions for future earnings, this might be a good time to take profits or cut losses. If you do understand what you own and believe it represents good value (not just good companies; good companies can have stocks that are way overpriced) — sit tight.

And now for the important stuff . . .

CHEAP GAS

Mark Rindsberg: “The main problem is that we in the USA have become spoiled by cheap gas. Just about anywhere else in the world, except perhaps Saudi Arabia and some of the other Gulf States, gasoline costs about $1 per liter, or nearly $4 per gallon. We have no reason whatsoever to complain.”

Jon Raymond: “Amen! I look at it this way. If G. Bush Jr. gets elected, gas is going to cost me a LOT more when I move to Canada, so why whine about the current price here? Even at today’s prices, gas doesn’t reflect all of the external costs associated with our heavy reliance on it.”

Rick: “While I like some of your other alternatives, if I had to choose between a gas tax and an income tax to fund highway maintenance, I’d pick the progressive income tax. The gas tax makes it more expensive for a poor person to get to his or her job.”

WACKY WEB SITE

Tim B: “Colgate toothpaste for spackling? Coca-Cola for rust removal? Sure, these wacky uses for common stuff will probably work. But I would have expected you, if anyone, to note the problem with this: the cost of these items. Toothpaste (even the generic brand from the warehouse store) is much more expensive than spackling compound from the hardware store. Coca-Cola is more expensive than rust remover. (And that’s not even considering whether they work as effectively as the regular product does.)”

Mmm, maybe. But even if a dab of toothpaste is 5 times as expensive as a dab of spackle, it’s still just a dab of toothpaste. What’s that — a tenth of a cent? And here’s the thing: I don’t keep spackle around on a regular basis. I should, I know, but I just keep forgetting to buy it.

Tim 2: “I’m trying to figure out what would constitute a spackling emergency?”

Any time I try to hang a picture.

 

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