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ITíS THE ECONOMY, STUPID!

I canít remember which politician ranted with some version of the above line.  Heck, maybe it was a journalist.  Either way, most of the regulars in either of those professions are in the same category from my perspective (and Iíll let you guess which category that is).

Anyhow, I was amused when my AOL popup window blurted out something along the lines of this brilliant statement when providing a teaser to this Tuesdayís elections.  If this is really the case, the Republicans (whose platform would be perfect if they didnít court the far right on issues that no moderate can tolerate) should win BIG.  If the Republicans donít win big, then it isnít the economy, because there arenít any Dems with any plans to bring things around.  The gubernatorial election in my home state, Maryland, is a perfect example.  The Democrat, Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, has never won an election on her own.  However, she is a Kennedy and is a Democrat in a state that has only elected one Republican governor in 140 years.  The Republican, Robert Ehrlich, is a Congressman who was elected to Congress in 1994 with the Newt mandate.  Issues are:  the Dems have a minimum $1.7 Billion budget deficit.  The Lt. Gov. says sheíll raise taxes to cover it.  The Republican has all those votes in which he voted for many of Newtís causes.  The race:  too close to call.  If the Dem wins, Iím moving out of state.  I donít care to go from 5th highest taxed state to 2nd highest.  The problem is that almost half of the voters in the state pay very little income tax so they donít care if she raises taxes.  I guess thatís why they call it a Democracy.

More raving about the economy is in order.  At one point this year, three out of the five male heads of household on my cul-de-sac were out of work.  Two of the three had an affiliation with high tech jobs.  At a summer luau in the neighborhood at large, I made a rough estimate that 15% of the men were out of work.  This quick and dirty analysis canít be good for the economy since Iím fortunate enough to live in a neighborhood where the average home value is about five times the national average.  This Fall, several more buddies of mine find out that their jobs were eliminated.  Damn!  Whatís going on?  Is there a movement afoot to neuter the white, male professional?  Wino John, I think weíre going to need a link to jobs websites!

Ok.  If the economy is plunging, then why donít I see wine prices, particularly from California, heading South?  I keep hearing the rumors, but I donít see the declines in pricing.  Maybe all those surplus grapes are going into those Smuckers PB&J lunch box kits.  Life is good if you read The Spec, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, or Cigar Aficionado.  They act like all of us should continue to shell out $3,000 for verticals of some of the lesser-known California Cabs.

Iíve had it with the snobbery.  If Iím going to continue to drink wine, Iím going to find some of those Australian, Chilean, and Spanish bargains (are there any Italian bargains anymore Wino Bob?).  Winos unite!  Help me find bargain wines that come in a bottle (if I canít handle the modern screw cap, I ainít gonna go for a box!).  Weíll publish your best selections as well as put out the press for the retailers who push the reasonably priced vintages.  Letís turn this thing around and have the wine prices in California follow the lead of their technology forefathers!

Wino Wally
Baltimore, MD
November 3, 2002

P.S.  Even Hummer has wisely released a cheaper option, the H2.  Not that $49,000 falls into the economy model.  However, you could bring a small wine cellar back from the liquor store if you drove one of these!


 

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