It’s an oft repeated story, government’s abuse of power discriminated against a group. In this case the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) denied loans to black farmers based on race. A group of black farmers (I wonder why they are “black” farmers and not “African-American” farmers) sued and after a while the USDA admitted to the discrimination. The USDA settled the Pigford vs Glickman case and agreed to pay affected black farmers $50,000 per claim. Here is my first hiccup. The USDA, while a bloated bureacracy, is made up of people some of whom discriminated against black farmers. None of the article that I read mentioned anything about people being fired, going to jail, or being fined because of the offenses. Yet another case of government screwing up and costing us money.
We’ve all sat through long, boring speeches by nameless people who are on their way out of office, high school, the working class, etc. A timeless tradition is to bequeath something to those who will follow in their footsteps. These “gifts” are sometimes funny and often touching and depending on the closeness of those assembled accompanied by a good dose of tears followed by hugging.
President Clinton’s White House staff has the distinction of perhaps the pettiest actions of an outgoing office holder. It was widely reported that his staff stole everything that wasn’t nailed down including all of the “W” from the computer keyboards. His successor, in case you didn’t know, used his middle initial to differentiate himself from his famous father. You can still see many cars with their “W” stickers.
Personal Finances: My wife and I have amassed some decent credit card debt by spending more money than we had available, or deficit spending. Since we are blessed with a good credit rating, the banks are always willing to raise our credit limit. They are just so nice about that. Rather than take advantage of those nice folks’ offer, we are in the process of reducing that debt through a number of means. We are going to have to spend less, sell some investments, and restructure some debt, but should have it eliminated within the next three months. Although it will be hard, but we feel that there is a need to eliminate this debt.