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Tuesday, December 31, 2002 ISSUE #254
 

December 31, 2002

COLUMBUS: The year is coming to a close, and there's lots of folks kinda glad to see it go. It was especially not a good year for Enron investors, Martha Stewart, United Airlines, the New York Yankees, St. Louis Rams, Democrats or Trent Lott.

The Dow-Jones is off 17 percent. Nasdaq has lost 75 percent in 3 years. (Does that mean if it loses another 25% next year it'll be down to nothing?) By the time we all figured out the best thing to do with our money was to bury it, it ain't worth the bother of digging the hole. We don't have enough left to fill an empty soup can.

Who knows what 2003 will bring. Prognosticators are saying that after Bush takes care of Iraq this winter, and North Korea gets whatever they want from us, and Venezuela starts pumping oil again, why things will look up.

I hope they're right. But before you accept what anyone says is going to happen in 2003, make 'em show you what they predicted for '00, '01 and '02. If they got those years right then they got maybe a 50-50 chance of hitting it for 2003.

One man that don't need to worry about next year is that fellow Whitaker who won the lottery in West Virginia. He's giving ten percent to various churches and still has a hundred million after taxes. He sure seems to be a nice man, owns a construction company, and says he's gonna put back on the payroll some workers he had laid off. You know, I hope those workers, and the churches, appreciate the gesture and don't slack off a bit from the tough job in front of 'em.

I keep waiting for some farmer to win the lottery. But it won't happen... farming is such a gamble they feel no need to buy Powerball tickets or fly off to Las Vegas for the weekend. But if one ever does buy a ticket and win, I know just what he'll say when the announcer asks, "What are you going to do with the hundred million?" He'll ponder a second or two, and finally utter, "Well, I reckon I'll keep on farming, as long as it lasts."

Historic quotes from Will Rogers:

"We are obliged to read the usual New Year's prosperity applesauce by our same prominent men who are always rich enough to see a great year coming up. And to show you they don't know any more about it than Clara Bow, last year they had their usual hokum predictions, and in October we lost half as much as it cost to put on the war, and yet not a one of these predicted it. .... We know that the new year will look fairly rosy to Mr. Rockefeller, .... but how is it going to look to just plain old Joe Doakes?" DT #1070, Dec. 30, 1929.

"I have read New Year predictions till I am blue in the face about the great future..., but I have yet to see one word on what 1930 holds in store for the Democrats. And that's the very thing that makes me believe us Democrats may get a break in the coming year. I base my faith on the fact that 98 per cent of all predictions are wrong, and on the fact that it's an off year in politics and all off years are Democratic years." DT #1071, Dec. 31, 1929.

"Well, the old year is leaving us flat, plenty flat. But in reality it's been our most beneficial year. It's took some of the conceit out of us. We had enjoyed special blessings over other nations, and we couldn't see why they shouldn't be permanent. We was a mighty cocky nation... We had begun to believe that the height of civilization was a good road, bath tub, radio and automobile. I don't think Hoover, the Republicans, or even Russia, is responsible for this. I think the Lord just looked us over, and decided to set us back where we belonged." DT #1384, Dec. 30, 1930.

"Mr. Roosevelt proposed in his speech that a lot of these government_regulated business ethics would be made permanent. Well, that was a terrible blow to some business men. They had figured they would only be required to be honest by the government till the emergency was over." DT #2316, Jan. 4, 1934


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