Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Here’s looking at you, kid[neywood flowers]

with 6 comments

How ’bout this face-on view of a small fly getting nectar from the flowers of a kidneywood tree (Eysenhardtia texana) in my neighborhood on December 16, 2021? That tree kept putting out flowers through the end of the year, even if only a tiny fraction of what it had produced at the end of October.

(This post’s title is an allusion to a line from the movie “Casablanca.”)

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Three months ago in these pages I wrote a commentary pointing out that inflation is a hidden tax that most affects the people least able to afford it, including the poor, of course, and the elderly on fixed incomes. People who have dutifully saved money for their later years look on helplessly as their retirement savings dwindle in value.

Yesterday the United States government announced that from December 2020 to December 2021, the Consumer Price Index had risen 7%, which was the highest jump in 40 years. A big factor in the increase is that both the last administration and the current one each spent trillions of dollars that we don’t have. Borrowing and printing money so extravagantly contributed heavily to the high inflation we’re now experiencing. And still the current administration is desperate to borrow, print, and spend trillions of dollars more in a Congressional bill that I can’t help but call Bilk Back Better. It’s madness.

UPDATE: A Quinnipiac poll whose results were released yesterday found that only 34% of the respondents approve the current president’s handling of the economy, with 57% disapproving. (The margin of error was 2.7 percentage points.)

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If you have the time, you can watch a two-hour conversation
among Steven Pinker, Jonthan Haidt, and Jordan Peterson.

© 2022 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 13, 2022 at 4:29 AM

6 Responses

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  1. A clever title, with an immediately recognizable reference. Despite the addition of green, I couldn’t help noticing the same combination of brown, black, and white that was so appealing in your previous post of the millipedes and leaf.

    As for inflation, it’s the primary topic of conversation among the people I come in contact with on a daily basis. None have corner offices or drive electric vehicles, of course. Most are are on fixed income, or facing rising business costs that customers are resisting. Two examples from my own experience: my monthly rent has just increased by $100/month, and the tires I purchased three months or so ago have increased in cost by $55 per tire. Not including tax, that’s $220 per set of four. Even someone as math challenged as I am can figure that out. Maybe I should buy a wheelbarrow to tote my cash, before wheelbarrows become unaffordable, too.

    shoreacres

    January 13, 2022 at 9:12 AM

    • Ah, wheelbarrows of cash—a look back at hyperinflation-ravaged Germany in the 1920s. It was an important factor in the rise of the Nazis.

      I appreciate your testimonial about inflation being the primary topic of conversation among the people you regularly come in contact with. Sorry to hear about your rent jumping $100 a month; at least you got your new tires before their price went up, too.

      I hadn’t picked up on the similar colors (plus green) in today’s picture and yesterday’s. Tomorrow’s will end the streak.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 13, 2022 at 10:14 AM

  2. I’m 100% into the title you picked and the image, and I’m with the 57% that disapproves of Biden’s handling of the economy. I have to wonder about that 34% that approve. Are they clueless?

    And Linda just put the scare in me about tires! I now wish I had gone ahead and purchased tires for my truck when I returned from Nebraska in September last year.

    Littlesundog

    January 13, 2022 at 3:02 PM

    • Let’s hear it for the title and the little fly. Let’s not hear it for people who don’t understand that profligate spending is a bad thing. Apparently a third of the country falls into that clueless category. I’m sorry you didn’t get new truck tires a few months ago.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 13, 2022 at 5:36 PM

  3. Inflation and the lack of interest on savings is a concern over here in the UK too. It does make us worry about how much we’ll lose of the current value of the money we’ve saved for our retirement. There doesn’t seem to be any really good way to invest it at the moment either.

    Ann Mackay

    January 15, 2022 at 7:55 AM

    • Yes, inflation and extremely low interest on savings are worldwide problems. The stock market as a whole has stayed ahead of inflation, so putting money in a so-called index fund, one that tracks the market, is a possibility. Of course stock markets have their ups and downs, so you’d have to be prepared to wait out any downturns.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 15, 2022 at 8:19 AM


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