February 5, 2010

Drinking from the Lowest Shelf

Justin Katz

Alright, so it's not the most compelling or sympathetic example, but this is as good an instance as any of the ways in which middle-class-and-down Americans translate money (especially taxes):

Americans' love affair with top-shelf booze cooled last year as the recession took a toll on high-priced tipples.

A new report by an industry group shows people drank more but turned to cheaper brands. They also drank more at home and less in pricier bars and restaurants.

As I walked out of last year's financial town meeting, in Tiverton, having just played a visible role in a budget-cutting coup, the air was thick with comments snidely dismissing the amount of money that the average household would save. Perhaps to step-10 teachers, another night out each year is a sneer-worthy inconsequentiality, but to folks who only splurge for one a year, it's not so minor. For those who never go out, the same amount of money translates into small luxuries like egg sandwiches on Wednesday mornings or a more palatable brand of rum.

It all seems so minor... until it doesn't.

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Is this the TCC finally admitting that they went against what the budget committe originally had planned and developed. Why even have a budget committe if they wont be listened to.

On another note this blog is quickly becoming a one or two trick pony. Lets bash teachers and make sure that the homos can't marry each other.

Posted by: reggie at February 5, 2010 2:31 PM

Justin's touching concern for the poor brings to mind the Walrus and the Carpenter, with Justin playing the Walrus.

"It seems a shame," the Walrus said,
"To play them such a trick,
After we've brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!"
The Carpenter said nothing but
"The butter's spread too thick!"

"I weep for you," the Walrus said:
"I deeply sympathize."
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

"O Oysters," said the Carpenter,
"You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?'
But answer came there none--
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.


Posted by: OldTimeLefty at February 5, 2010 4:03 PM

"dismissing the amount of money that the average household would save"

On the local, state and federal level, a serious lack of respect for tax dollars has developed. Whether big budget items or smaller ones, when it's someone else's money you're spending, it's not real money and it doesn't matter how much you spend or how much you save.

Posted by: Monique at February 5, 2010 6:40 PM

"Americans' love affair with top-shelf booze cooled last year as the recession took a toll on high-priced tipples. "

I wonder if it hasn't been that way for sometime. Seems to me the 50's and 60's was all about hard liguor, martinis and such.

Then "wine bars" were discovered in the 70's and 80's.

Now we seem to be a nation of "beer tasters".

Posted by: Warrington Faust at February 5, 2010 9:34 PM

Justin, it's not minor at all; it is death by a thousand scratches to the regular private sector employee, non-union retiree, or small business owner. Case in point: we send our two kids to private school a) because the public school education system in RI is an embarassment and b) one child has a learning disability. As such, husband and I both drive 10 year old vehicles, we eat out maybe once every 2 months, I never shop, except for bare necessities, we live in just about the least fancy municipality in RI, our past 2 homes have been bargain priced fixer uppers on which we did most of the labor, last vacation was 3 years ago, and I buy the bargain wine. Husband will have to work into his 70's to save for retirement. BTW He is a phyician. So, are we poor? No. But the reckless spending of government still hits us hard. So when public sector union members of any ilk squawk about their circumstances, it sure falls on deaf ears here, because whilst they retire on cushy pensions in their 50's with 3% yearly COLA's, regular private sector folks have to work until the lid closes on their coffin in order to support them.

That's the cold hard reality. No more, baby, no more. Lefties, your days are numbered.

Posted by: MadMom at February 6, 2010 2:48 PM

I don't know, Madmom. I think the closing of the lid is a little too early to quit, what with long-lasting laptop batteries and wireless Internet.

Posted by: Justin Katz at February 6, 2010 2:52 PM

You can have my computer when you pry it from my cold, dead hands!

Posted by: BobN at February 6, 2010 3:17 PM
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