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Wednesday, March 16, 2005 ISSUE #359
 

Irish luck helps pick this week's winners.

# 359, March 16, 2005

DUBLIN: Before you get concerned that I'm off on another junket, let me admit that this Dublin is a next door neighbor to Columbus, in the middle of Ohio, not Ireland. This is the Dublin that Jack Nicklaus built, or as he will be known tomorrow, Jack O'Nicklaus.

College basketball is kinda taking over here in the US this week. Wall Street and horse racing are taking a back seat to basketball for the gamblers. A few will bet the farm, but the vast majority will more likely wager a cup of coffee or two on which one of 64 teams will cut down the nets in three weeks.

With a bit of the luck of the Irish, I'll go out on a limb and see if I can spot some winners for you. Now, I'm only taking it one week at a time; there's no guarantee any of these will still be around after Sunday, but here are some that look like winners this week: Oklahoma State, Illinois, Kansas, West Virginia, Kentucky, Gonzaga, Lebanon, Robert Blake, oil barons, and steroid-free baseball players.

In Washington, Social Security is dividing the country as much as the issue of marriage is in California. Out there, folks can't figure out which does more damage to the sanctity of marriage: gay weddings or Hollywood divorces.

On Social Security, Republicans say that if you let us start these youngsters on private savings accounts, we'll take care of all the old people even if we have to borrow trillions of dollars to do it; that is, as long as you keep voting the Republican ticket. They figure in fifty years or so, these current young folks will have saved and earned so much dough in their personal accounts, they won't even miss Social Security when it's gone.

On the other hand, Democrats say there's nothing wrong with Social Security, just leave it alone. They seem to know of some upcoming calamity whereby, commencing about 2020, no more than half of all retirees will live past 65, the way it was when Mr. Roosevelt started handing out checks in 1935. That will come as quite a shock to folks expecting to live to 100 and be retired as long as they had worked.

But you watch, they'll compromise. And here's what they'll compromise on: we'll get to pay more into it, work longer, and then draw less out of it. And they'll both claim the credit.

Historic quote from Will Rogers:

"DUBLIN: It is so peaceful and quiet here in Dublin that it is almost disappointing.
Even the Irish themselves are beginning to get used to it and like it. They even have a representative at the Peace Conference.
Ireland treats you more like a friend than a tourist."
DT # 36, Sept. 8, 1926


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