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Sunday, October 02, 2011

Days of Whine and Rages

I've noticed some curious things of late.

When you have a monthly mortgage your due date is usually the first of the month.

Built into that is usually a 15 day grace period where if you pay the amount within that time frame no fees no penalty no dink on your credit report. In short, no flag no foul no phone calls.

Over the last 3 years during our collective stretches of unemployment my wife and I have still managed to keep the mortgage paid although we have very frequently had to invade that grace period.

And mostly Citibankthebastards left us alone (we'll leave the saga of our HAMP attempt out of this discussion, it's truly Wagnerian).

Recently, however, as the markets have convulsed and gyrated, that has not been the case.

And what has stood out is whenever Citigroup takes a hit in the market or has bad news or press, the next day I surely get a call telling me I'm two or three days into the grace period when do I plan on making payment?

I used to argue with them about it, telling them I'm not past due yet, I'm not delinquent. To which they'd argue but your due date was the first today is the third etc.

Now I just ask them if I'm still in the grace period, they answer yes and I tell them to fuck off and not bother me until I've blown that.

To compound things my credit cards are Citi issued. I don't use them anymore but am still paying on them. Balances got run up because they had to be used during this period for car repairs etc when we didn't have the cash anymore.

And I've kept those paid on time as well. Minimum payments only but paid on time.

Knowing this was going to be a problem sooner or later I called and wanted to work out arrangements. Their credit department told me there was nothing they could do until I was delinquent.

Been to the grocery store lately?

I've been doing the grocery shopping for a bit over two years now. And like everyone else have watched the prices on food go up and up. The 5 for $5 or buy one get one are not much of a bargain anymore, when the one costs nearly as much as two did two years ago. For a coffee addict it has been particularly catastrophic. Terrifying, even.

But something else I've noticed in recent weeks.

Shelves that used to be full no longer are.

I thought it was because people were making a run when they had specials. and in part this is true.

But what I also noticed is during the day, more employees than usual going up and down the aisles with carts pulling the expired products from the shelves.

It has become so bad, at least around here, that people can no longer buy like they used to and the food is expiring before it can be sold.

I haven't yet had the nerve to ask if I could have it if they were just going to throw it away.

I heard a radio broadcast the other day talking about how there is a million home foreclosure backlog on the northeast.

The host went on to say that there are half a million homes in Florida alone like this so he suspects the number is far higher. Closer to four or five million backlog.

Keep all this in mind when you read the Sultan Knish post below. And you should read it all.

What do these young punks on Wall Street have to rage about? What do they know about having to fight with a mortgage company or credit card? What do they know about watching that $10.95 lb can of coffee dwindle to $10.85 for 12oz, then $10.95 for 11oz then $13.95 (!) for 10oz.

What do they know about working 20 years in the same place and suddenly finding yourself without a place at the table? About getting by on 1/3 what you used to make 3 years ago?

When this odyssey started for me three years ago most of these twits were still in their early college years.

A 22 year old raging about the bank bailouts and TARP? She was what, 18, 19, 20, when TARP first went into effect? And it affected her how?

Knish is right. These people are protesting at the wrong place. But more importantly, it is the wrong people protesting.

The right people to be protesting, however, can't. They can't afford the time off of work (if they have a job) or from trying to merely survive and find a job to sit on their asses taking orders from their Ipads and Iphones about where to march when and which cardboard sign to be holding today.

But when the shelves are finally empty because food has expired and been thrown away without being replenished because the groceries can no longer keep up with the losses. . .

Or they can no longer afford a can of beans. . .

Or are a week away from being tossed out in the street. . .

Or can only heat their homes for a few hours a day, and keep the thermostat on 60 at best. . .

Or can no longer keep their job because they can't afford the gas for the daily 2 hour commute. . .

Or can't get help at the food bank because they have run out of food because no one can afford to donate anymore. . .

THEN Barack Obama will see the real days of rage.

Then he'll see who's gone soft and who hasn't.

Then he'll see riot and revolt.

And nothing his teleprompter or Dick Trumka tell him to say will keep it from his door.

And he's going to look at the Wall Street Protests as the Good Old Days.





Go ahead. Make my
day.

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posted by midnight rider at permanent link#

11 Comments:

Blogger Pastorius said...

Great post.

You're right.

Obama will wish he had never heard of riots, if he doesn't get the fuck out of office and out of our lives.

Sunday, October 02, 2011 11:09:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be surprised to see Dumdo-ears try to use disturbances (a.k.a. riots, protests) as an excuse to instute a state of Martial Law to try to cancel elections. I put nothing past him & his gang.


Silverlady

Monday, October 03, 2011 1:22:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice headline. :)

From my experience in vendor stocking store shelves, salvage items are sometimes given to the vendor stockers. Stockers that work directly for the store are not so lucky. Check the store dumpsters out back if things get really bad, that's where you'll find lots of salvage. One store I worked at would not give workers outdated or damaged items, but had no problem with someone driving up and going through the dumpster. If you steal it from the dumpster, they are not liable for anything. If they give it to a store worker and the worker gets sick, they're liable. You would be surprised the amount of good food that gets thrown away even in the best of times.

Monday, October 03, 2011 7:59:00 am  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

But something else I've noticed in recent weeks.

Shelves that used to be full no longer are.


You're correct, MR, that people are skimping on buying to the point that expired products are removed.

And something else is going on, too.

1. Some food and other-products companies have gone out of business. One I've personally noticed and asked the store manager about: the company that makes the bacon bits we use here in the AOW household. The manager told me that the company is gone.

2. Fewer trucks are making it to market. Hauling companies out of business and, even scarier, the shops that repair big rigs are going belly up.

In fact, as I think about it, I'm seeing fewer big rigs on the interstate highways around here.

"Who is John Galt?" is upon us.

Monday, October 03, 2011 10:47:00 am  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

Or can only heat their homes for a few hours a day, and keep the thermostat on 60 at best. . .

We're having a cold snap here. I refuse to turn on the furnace. Mr. AOW is getting by without freezing (body thermostat problems since his stroke) by using a heating pad. I'm all bundled up, and the cats are huddling with us.

I can't afford to turn on that furnace! My income is down by some $5000 this year as compare to last year, and I was barely scraping by before the food-price hikes (gasoline not a factor here). What is tanking the AOW household right now is the hike in health-insurance premiums.

I could sell my other property -- except that values are down so damn much in that city that it's scary.

Monday, October 03, 2011 10:51:00 am  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

Years ago, when my neighbor was unemployed, she got throw-outs from grocery stores and from local vegetable stands.

Monday, October 03, 2011 10:52:00 am  
Blogger Pastorius said...

AOW,
Yep. Health Insurance premiums are up. There is no doubt about that.

That post by Reliapundit yesterday (which I saw you commented on) made the academic point that premiums are up as much, if not more, because healthcare is better now than it was before.

I made the point that most people don't need the really top notch healthcare, and ought to be able to choose not to afford it, if they want to choose such.

You and Mr. AOW do not need the top-notch healthcare. All you need is a nurse to come in once in awhile, and for wheelchair and other equipment, meds, etc.

None of that ought to be expensive, and most of it is not.

But, the premiums are killers.

I know, because I was in business wholly for myself for a few years and I paid 20K a year in healthcare costs for a family of five. $10 of that was premiums on catastrophic healthcare insurance. There was one trip to the Emergency room, a few Dr. visits, and that made $20K for the year.

Monday, October 03, 2011 1:27:00 pm  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

We don't even the nurse now.

I've dumped prescription coverage and, in its place, have joined the Walgreen's Pharmacy Club. What we're paying now for meds is less than the copays we paid when we had health insurance with pharmacy coverage.

Policies with pharmacy coverage is expensive. Most government policies (federal, state, and local) have such policies; and we the taxpayers are picking up the employers' portion of those policies.

In essence, the policies Mr. AOW and I have are catastrophic policies: $2500 deductible for each of us, 70-30 until $5000 out of pocket for each of us.

The problem that has now arisen for many people: they can't afford that deductible because the premiums themselves are too damned high.

BTW, Medicare doesn't have a maximum out-of-pocket provision. Hence, Mr. AOW will need Medigap coverage in March. The cost of that coverage because he isn't age 65: $800 a month!

Monday, October 03, 2011 3:01:00 pm  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

I just got home from the bank.

Traffic? Not to speak of. During rush hour! WTH is going on? I have commuted at this same time for over 12 years, and I know what the traffic patterns should be.

The federal workers are going into work, the school buses running.

So, what's the difference? It has to be that other businesses aren't running.

I did notice today that an entire office park in the Tysons Corner vicinity is now sitting empty. That particular office building has never sat empty before.

Another office building, directly across the street from Tysons Corner Mall, has been sitting empty for months. Borders was the tenant for one half of that very large building. The other tenant, Filene's Basement, has been gone sine 2008. This is prime real commercial real estate -- or should be.

With commercial real estate empty, the county is going to jack up residential taxes.

Monday, October 03, 2011 3:05:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too have been wrestling with "late" payments from a number of my creditors after losing my "fat" railroad job 1 1/2 years ago. Car loan companies, utilities, all..contribute to angst ridden days and some sleepless nights. Finding a worthy job when over 55 is mostly a joke unless you have specialist degree or a Public Safety connection. Us Humanist's, with a few letters after our names, trek about in a mist of hope and desire to work, create and just do some good outside of the home, yard or kitchen.
Prices are rising, Boomers like me cannot commute too far cause of fuel concerns. Trains are 40 miles away and Chicago 90 miles away is, well...quite a stretch . I am currently training for a Telemarketing job with a Billionaire Boys Club linked Subsidiary. Its all about the Commissions, Got Movies ?..
That said I live off of a tiny pension, plasma "donations" and a doting, fulltime employed Spouse. Why she keeps me I know not...Forget the Lepers in my head, it's the Devil on my trail some days or nights.
Keeping the Mortgage Monkeys at bay is a weekly endeavor, God Save us all. We the Infidels will survive or roam the land with Shish Kabob carts and Ouzo in our pockets....Go Bears and Rise Yuan Rise... aj not so anonymous.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011 7:30:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're always welcome here!! :-(

#1

ps... little p says he can't wait to meet you :-)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 10:49:00 pm  

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