Wednesday, December 21, 2011

This Economy Stinks! Do I Smell Depression?

If you have a job and are making the money you need to make to keep your head above water and save some for the future, you are very blessed and are surely in the minority. The Obama administration and the enabling news media are jerking our chains with reports of an improving economy. In my opinion, we did not stave off a depression with the federal government's efforts to spark an economic recovery, we insured that we would most likely slide from a recession into the gaping mouth of another depression.

This is a case of history repeating itself. Economies naturally go through strong and weak cycles about every 50 years or so. The stock market crash of 1929 need not have turned into a depression. Like we did in recent years with the banking crisis, a progressive republican administration (Hoover) tried to boost the economy by throwing tax money at the obvious problems. His natural failure to make a dent in the economic slowdown resulted in the election of an even more progressive Democratic administration. Roosevelt's answer, as it is with all liberals and progressives, was to throw even more tax dollars at what they thought was the problem. The result was 9 more years of a depression. Europe and the rest of the world had come out of their economic woes much earlier than the U.S. did. It took WWII to put the American people to work.

Some might say that that was a form of government spending. True, but it was deficit spending that destroyed the economies of Japan, Germany, and Italy. Only the very,very, wise prepare way in advance for war, and because of this they would rarely be in a situation where they needed to wage war. But as to our economic recovery, our mainland was literally untouched by the ravages of war. When the war ended, the United Sates was in the position to supply the world with what it needed, and when our soldiers and sailors returned, there was lots of work in producing materials and fuel for reconstructing the world. What wealth there was left from the rest of the world flowed to us.

By the way, this is not a call for us to start a war to get us back on a healthy economic setting. The Free Market is the natural equalizer. If you understand that economies will naturally ebb and wain and that, as the tides of the oceans do, economies will right themselves if allowed to do so, you understand that a steadying hand is never necessary. It happens every time. Government efforts to manipulate economies fail every time. Socialism and communism DO NOT WORK!
The answer to our current economic woes is to get Obama and as many liberal and progressive Democrats of Congress out of office and replaced by Conservatives as soon as possible.

Again, the administration and the liberal media want us to believe that the economy is slowly getting better and that Obama's actions saved us from a depression. I resist that assessment strongly. We have to stop spending money as if all we have to do is print more, and we have to dramatically cut government spending and taxes. Lower taxes will boost production, which will in turn, create job growth and actually increase revenue--it happens every time it's tried. Eventually, with spending cuts and more revenue, our deficit will go away, but because of the overspending we have subjected ourselves to during the last few years, it may take a long time, but not as long as it would take if we stay on the same path for 5 more years.

Regulations are killing us, just as they did in the 30s. Government should never pick winners and losers. The Free Market does that for us, and much better, with out the stench of government corruption. If the businesses of America have their hands free to work and the free market is left alone, allowing some businesses to fail but for others to evolve and strive, we will recover faster and reach a higher economic plateau than before. Of course there will necessarily be short lived recessions in the future, but allowed to right itself by competition of the free market and without government intervention growth will return much faster.

To support my argument that we are being sold a bill of goods by the Obama administration and hamstrung by a complicit news media, I offer the following: An article from The Blaze Internet news service. This what you likely don not know about the actual economy and why what you are hearing from other sources seems to be not what you and your friends are experiencing.

50 Things You Probably Don't Know...
1. A staggering 48 percent of all Americans are either considered to be “low income” or are living in poverty.
2. Approximately 57 percent of all children in the United States are living in homes that are either considered to be “low income” or impoverished.
3. If the number of Americans that “wanted jobs” was the same today as it was back in 2007, the “official” unemployment rate put out by the U.S. government would be up to 11 percent.
4. The average amount of time that a worker stays unemployed in the United States is now over 40 weeks.
5. One recent survey found that 77 percent of all U.S. small businesses do not plan to hire any more workers.
6. There are fewer payroll jobs in the United States today than there were back in 2000 even though we have added 30 million extra people to the population since then.
7. Since December 2007, median household income in the United States has declined by a total of 6.8 percent once you account for inflation.
8. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 16.6 million Americans were self-employed back in December 2006. Today, that number has shrunk to 14.5 million.
9. A Gallup poll from earlier this year found that approximately one out of every five Americans that do have a job consider themselves to be underemployed.
10. According to author Paul Osterman, about 20 percent of all U.S. adults are currently working jobs that pay poverty-level wages.
11. Back in 1980, less than 30 percent of all jobs in the United States were low income jobs. Today, more than 40 percent of all jobs in the United States are low income jobs.
12. Back in 1969, 95 percent of all men between the ages of 25 and 54 had a job. In July, only 81.2 percent of men in that age group had a job.
13. One recent survey found that one out of every three Americans would not be able to make a mortgage or rent payment next month if they suddenly lost their current job.
14. The Federal Reserve recently announced that the total net worth of U.S. households declined by 4.1 percent in the 3rd quarter of 2011 alone.
15. According to a recent study conducted by the BlackRock Investment Institute, the ratio of household debt to personal income in the United States is now 154 percent.
16. As the economy has slowed down, so has the number of marriages. According to a Pew Research Center analysis, only 51 percent of all Americans that are at least 18 years old are currently married. Back in 1960, 72 percent of all U.S. adults were married.
17. The U.S. Postal Service has lost more than 5 billion dollars over the past year.
18. In Stockton, California home prices have declined 64 percent from where they were at when the housing market peaked.
19. Nevada has had the highest foreclosure rate in the nation for 59 months in a row.
20. If you can believe it, the median price of a home in Detroit is now just $6000.
21. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 18 percent of all homes in the state of Florida are sitting vacant. That figure is 63 percent larger than it was just ten years ago.
22. New home construction in the United States is on pace to set a brand new all-time record low in 2011.
23. 19 percent of all American men between the ages of 25 and 34 are now living with their parents.
24. Electricity bills in the United States have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row.
25. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, health care costs accounted for just 9.5 percent of all personal consumption back in 1980. Today they account for approximately 16.3 percent.
26. One study found that approximately 41 percent of all working age Americans either have medical bill problems or are currently paying off medical debt.
27. If you can believe it, one out of every seven Americans has at least 10 credit cards.
28. The United States spends about 4 dollars on goods and services from China for every one dollar that China spends on goods and services from the United States.
29. It is being projected that the U.S. trade deficit for 2011 will be 558.2 billion dollars.
30. The retirement crisis in the United States just continues to get worse. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 46 percent of all American workers have less than $10,000 saved for retirement, and 29 percent of all American workers have less than $1,000 saved for retirement.
31. Today, one out of every six elderly Americans lives below the federal poverty line.
32. According to a study that was just released, CEO pay at America’s biggest companies rose by 36.5 percent in just one recent 12 month period.
33. Today, the “too big to fail” banks are larger than ever. The total assets of the six largest U.S. banks increased by 39 percent between September 30, 2006 and September 30, 2011.
34. The six heirs of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton have a net worth that is roughly equal to the bottom 30 percent of all Americans combined.
35. According to an analysis of Census Bureau data done by the Pew Research Center, the median net worth for households led by someone 65 years of age or older is 47 times greater than the median net worth for households led by someone under the age of 35.
36. If you can believe it, 37 percent of all U.S. households that are led by someone under the age of 35 have a net worth of zero or less than zero.
37. A higher percentage of Americans is living in extreme poverty (6.7 percent) than has ever been measured before.
38. Child homelessness in the United States is now 33 percent higher than it was back in 2007.
39. Since 2007, the number of children living in poverty in the state of California has increased by 30 percent.
40. Sadly, child poverty is absolutely exploding all over America. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 36.4 percent of all children that live in Philadelphia are living in poverty, 40.1 percent of all children that live in Atlanta are living in poverty, 52.6 percent of all children that live in Cleveland are living in poverty and 53.6 percent of all children that live in Detroit are living in poverty.
41. Today, one out of every seven Americans is on food stamps and one out of every four American children is on food stamps.
42. In 1980, government transfer payments accounted for just 11.7 percent of all income. Today, government transfer payments account for more than 18 percent of all income.
43. A staggering 48.5 percent of all Americans live in a household that receives some form of government benefits. Back in 1983, that number was below 30 percent.
44. Right now, spending by the federal government accounts for about 24 percent of GDP. Back in 2001, it accounted for just 18 percent.
45. For fiscal year 2011, the U.S. federal government had a budget deficit of nearly 1.3 trillion dollars. That was the third year in a row that our budget deficit has topped one trillion dollars.
46. If Bill Gates gave every single penny of his fortune to the U.S. government, it would only cover the U.S. budget deficit for about 15 days.
47. Amazingly, the U.S. government has now accumulated a total debt of 15 trillion dollars. When Barack Obama first took office the national debt was just 10.6 trillion dollars.
48. If the federal government began right at this moment to repay the U.S. national debt at a rate of one dollar per second, it would take over 440,000 years to pay off the national debt.
49. The U.S. national debt has been increasing by an average of more than 4 billion dollars per day since the beginning of the Obama administration.
50. During the Obama administration, the U.S. government has accumulated more debt than it did from the time that George Washington took office to the time that Bill Clinton took office.

Clearly, we are in big trouble. Obama has we should not go back to the failed policies of the past. I agree. Socialism has been tried all over the world and failed miserably. It is failing here again. If we could have reversed course after FDR's first term, as we should do now, history would likely have been kinder to us as a nation. The future will be kinder to us now, if we can be disciplined enough to right our course and move RIGHT.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving, 2011

I'm grateful for so much. It is really hard to enumerate the many blessings I enjoy. I am an American: I had the blessing of being born here where I can do and be whatever I choose; I was also born in a family that loved me and taught me to work; I learned early not to take myself too seriously and to give others credit for the good that they do; I also was blessed to be directed spiritually to come to a personal relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ. I live in a country of plenty and I know that, if I work hard and apply myself, I will have what I need, maybe not all that I might want, but what I need. So, I'm genuinely thankful and I don't mind declaring it.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

New Christmas Card for 2011

So, I've recently blogged about being thankful, but I haven't posted blogs in any great degree in awhile, though I have been revving up to get blogging on politics, with the the primaries around the corner and the general election less than a year away. But, I feel a need to get to something else first...

Well, you see it is time for a new Mundy family Christmas Card. If you are a follower of our tradition of coming up with a special Christmas Card each year, you may or may not have been waiting to see what we have come up with this time. If you are put off by my tendency to, perhaps, be a bit irreverent in my ideas, you might want to look away so as not to be offended. To the rest of you I hope it generates a smile. We try not to take ourselves too seriously, but I assure you that we take the meaning of Christmas very seriously. I would like to wish all those who happen onto this site a very Merry Christmas and the most Magical and Happy New Year. I believe that Jesus is The Christ, that he was and is the only begotten of of our Father in Heaven, that he was born in a lowly manger in Bethlehem just over 2,000 years ago and lived a perfect life as an example for all mankind to follow and emulate, that He suffered, as an atoning sacrifice for all mankind, in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross at Calvary, dying of his own free will and volition, and arose from the tomb on the third day having gained victory over physical and spiritual death for us all, if we would only recognize it and give thanks for it.

Oh yes, the 2011 Mundy Christmas Card. Without further a due.... Voila!

You can click on the card and enlarge it. If you are a Harry Potter fan you will know the characters shown here. In case you aren't able to guess, I'll give you the answers:

Obviously, I am Albus Dumbledor; Karen is Minerva McGonagall; Jesse is Serius Black; Jesse's wife, Amanda, is the house elf, Dobby; Tyler is Lord Voldemort; Heidi is Belatrix Lestrange; Ingrid is Sybil Trelawney; Ingrid's husband, Jeff, is Cedric Diggory; Ingrid's and Jeff's baby, Kalvin, is Rubius Hagrid; and Dylan is Lucius Malfoy. It was a fun project and I hope you enjoyed it. If you haven't seen any of our earlier Christmas Cards, you can search earlier blogs and find examples of the ones I still have copies of.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, August 28, 2011


I haven’t blogged in awhile—I have been feeling poorly from Meniere’s, Neuropathy, Arthritic hip and the bottom three vertebrae in my back rubbing together (oh woe is me!), so I haven’t felt strongly enough about anything to take the time to put word to computer. Though, I have felt very strongly about laying down as much as possible. Oddly, when my back was giving me grief, it was very difficult to rest, because my lower back would feel like I was being stabbed there when I tried to move or get up (oh woe is me again!) after laying down for just a few minutes. At night I would flip from side to side to get comfortable enough to sleep, knowing that I would be in big trouble in the morning. It was taking me twice as long to get ready for work every morning because I had to find handholds to pull myself out of bed, because of the excruciating back pain, and slowly make my way to the shower. The slightest miss-step would result in a stifled cry of pain (oh woe, woe, woe is me!). I finally decided I’d hade enough and that it would not right itself after like a pinched nerve will generally do, so I emailed my doctor, and sometimes saxophonist, David Poor to see if he would like to have me come in and x-ray my back to see if there was something going on out of the ordinary. He suggested that I see a chiropractor and referred me to Dr. Theron Hall who’s office is near our home. Hall did the x-ray—thus the identification of the hip and back trouble. He started me on electro therapy, spine decompression, adjustments and stretching exercises. In a couple of weeks I was pain-free. With some occasional maintenance, I hope to be able to manage it.

By the end of the chiropractic sessions I was ready for our big family adventure of the summer. My whole family, minus my son-in-law, Jeff—he needed to stay in Aurora, CO to work and watch over his and my daughter Ingrid’s pair of Vizsla dogs, the female about to give birth to 7 or 8 pups--were going to spend the better part of the week together to celebrate a couple of big events (besides the dog birthing): My oldest son’s (Jesse) wedding to our new daughter-in-law, Amanda, and my youngest son, Dylan, leaving on a two-year mission for our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Cleveland Ohio Mission. I took the entire week off from Thursday to the following Wednesday (8/18/11 to 8/24/11) to spend a week with Dylan and the others. Jesse and Amanda planned their reception here in Utah—they live in Topeka—to coincide with Dylan’s farewell, so that we could all be together for the last time before Dylan left, because he would get gone for two years.

It was a great time. Ingrid got to town a day before Jesse and Amanda with her little son, 4 ½ month-old, Kalvin—Thursday I think. Jesse, Amanda and our daughter, Heidi—Heidi took the time off from the police force as well—had never seen Kalvin, so it was a big “everybody get to know Kalvin week” as well. Jesse and Amanda got in Friday Night and we all went to dinner at a Japanese Steak place—kind of a tradition with us.
We had a reception at our home for the newlyweds the next evening.
However, the girls, Heidi, Ingrid and Amanda, took part in a 4-mile mud run up in Ogden early in the morning.

Karen and I watched Kalvin while Jesse and Tyler ran to different points of the girl’s route to get pictures. It was pretty entertaining. Hundreds of young women dressed in odd, to bizarre, outfits ran through mud and an obstacle course and ended running though a big containment of soap suds at the finish line. Each little team had their name. Our girls were the “Guns and Garters” and they wore garters, with a little holster and plastic gun, around one of their upper legs. Almost all of the teams had names alluding to the dirty circumstances—the event was called the “KISS ME DIRTY RUN”. One of the most memorable team names, to me, was the “Filthy Whores”.

The reception was really nice. Jesse and Amanda brought almost everything for it with them from Kansas. We had planed on having it in the back yard. We borrowed some tables and chairs from friends at church and goy everything ready. Of course a very strong cloud burst washed those plans away and we had everything in our house. It worked out well enough—a little crowded, but dry. We had a good turn out of family and friends who live in Utah. It is very good to have Amanda as part of our family. She is a perfect partner for Jesse and they obviously love each other very much. I feel like I now have four sons and three daughters and they are all good kids.

On Sunday, we went to Dylan’s Farewell Sacrament meeting. He talked on Faith and Repentance and did a great job—it had me fighting to hold back tears at a couple points. My wife, Karen, also spoke on Baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and our stake president, who was in attendance with his two counselors, took a few moments to commend Dylan on his talk and his preparation for his mission and add his own testimony. Dylan had some of his friends come by later and had a last—for two years—go at some videos games.

On Monday, we went on a hike—I think around 5 miles or so in total—on the backside of Mt. Timpanogos to see some waterfalls.
It was pretty rough terrain on some of the trail and plenty of ups and downs.
Tyler carried Kalvin in a papoose-type backpack the whole way, and Karen and I trailed along pretty far back—obviously guarding against Indians sneaking up on our group from behind.
We stayed near the falls long enough for me to cool my feet off in the water and then we headed back up the trail to get back in time to go pick up Karen’s sister, Connie, from work. My butt was dragging the ground when we got back to the parking area. It took me a couple days to recover. Karen had sore calves so bad she could hardly walk the rest of the week.

Tuesday Jesse and Amanda went site-seeing over to the Great Salt Lake, getting in and floating, and drove over to the Bonneville Salt Flats. That evening Karen and I went to see Heidi and her softball team win their league championship. It was a blow-out. Heidi’s team was so far ahead they called it.

On Wednesday we took our son, Dylan, to the Missionary Training Center. On the way we stopped at a sandwich shop, the Italian place and had lunch together—Karen and I used to eat at one of their various shops quite often when we were first dating and early in our marriage when we lived in Utah—and then said goodbye to Jesse, Amanda, Ingrid and little Kalvin. Then it was off to the MTC to drop Dylan off where he would spend three weeks of training before he flies off to serve in Cleveland. It was the culmination of a week of family fun with all of our kids in town.

Kalvin was probably the hit of the week. He is great little baby--easy to make smile and laugh, seldom cries, very good-natured—I think, without reservation, the most good natured baby I have ever been around—and of course, very handsome. We will miss Dylan greatly during the next couple of years, but are happy to share him with our Father-in-Heaven while he labors to share the Gospel with our spiritual brothers and sisters in that part of the world. Dylan is a great young man with strong, but humble faith in Christ and His Atonement.
It was great to have us all together again but the time was way too short.

So, I had fun on my vacation. I felt pretty good, except at the end of the mountain hike, and spent a week with the people whom I love most and I didn’t have to drive very far to do it. Thanks kids for being the great kids you are and loving each other as much as you do.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Finally something I want to blog about again.

We had a couple of big events during this past month of April. Of course, I had my 59th birthday, but that is of no great consequence in the eternal scheme of things. The first real important event to me was the birth of our first grandchild, Kalvin Lee Harris. My daughter, Ingrid, went into labor while packing to move to their new home. Ingrid and my son-in-law, Jeff, had been trying to move to a more family-friendly house—they lived in a small apartment with a pair of big rowdy Vizsla dogs—and thought they would have plenty of time to get settled before the expected and blessed event.
However, Kalvin came five weeks early. It was a bit scary. Kalvin ended up staying in the hospital for 9 days, though he weighed in at 6 lbs. 3 oz. at birth. Karen, Dylan and I drove out the following day (Saturday) and drove back five days later (Wednesday). Karen and I ended up holding little Kalvin twice each for about five minutes—not nearly enough to suit us—during our stay there. Poor Dylan was not given the opportunity to even hold him—his first nephew. He had to be satisfied to just see him through a window with an IV in the baby’s head and breathing tube going into his nose. Kalvin was wearing what looked like a wrestlers cap on his head to hold everything in place.
Of course the baby is at home now and the parents are able to enjoy almost constant contact with him. We of course know how they must have felt. Ingrid was also born a few weeks early and had to spend a week in the hospital, with us making visits back and forth. Of course, we had three other children at home to care for also, so we may have been a little bit more stressed, but it is hard to say when it is your first child it may be more stressful. I can’t help but have some regret that we live over 500 miles from the little guy and won’t be able to see him as often as we would like and be able to share in the daily, if not weekly, changes he and any siblings will go through as they mature.

The other big event was our youngest son, Dylan’s ordination to an Elder. I was able to perform the ordinance with Tyler, my second oldest son, at my side participating in the ordination circle. It was a very spiritual and joyful experience for me personally. I felt guided by the Spirit as I pronounced a blessing at the end of the conferring of the Melchizedek Priesthood and ordination to the office of Elder. Karen related to the group in attendance how before Dylan was born, though Karen did not want to have another pregnancy—she had had more miscarriages than full term births at that point—she felt prompted by the Holy Ghost that she was to have one more child and that it would be a boy.
We have always believed that Dylan was here for a special purpose and I felt that strongly during the ordination and following blessing. Bishop Garrison also added a testimony of how special he thought Dylan was and of his leadership qualities, as well as his athletic prowess, by relating a story of Dylan’s participation in a young men’s activity which he personally witnessed. The circumstance was at the Army’s local Camp Williams obstacle course, where the young men as a team had the challenge of crossing a body of water after climbing upward through a lengthy tube just wide enough for one person to climb through which ended at a small platform 15 feet above a water obstacle. As I understand it, the water obstacle was about 25 feet across and some 10 feet deep. There were two round concrete posts of about two feet wide coming out of the water at about 10 feet apart with flat landings at the top. The top of the first column was a little lower than the platform at the top of the tube and the second column was again a little lower than the preceding column leaving a bout 5 feet left to cross to the opposite bank which was a little lower again. The problem was to get everyone (30 some people) across from one bank to the other with some aluminum walking platforms that could reach across the ten-foot spans and then get all of their gear and walkways with them. Apparently, Dylan’s solution to the problem included his being the last one across from the bank to the platform, but it necessitated him to leap across after the walkway was removed and then to push or pull the walkway along its way after walking acrossthe second span on the walkway. Without any more discussion and to everyone’s surprise, when the time came, he made the leap, landed solidly on the top of the first column and then helped push the walkway to the other side. The Young Men’s President, Brother Reese Roberts, who is a Major in the Army said he had never in his time at the post ever seen anyone do or even consider doing what Dylan had done to resolve the problem. That is our Dylan: Impulsive and totally self-assured in athletic abilities. He has injured himself many times in his short lifetime doing athletic stunts to prove his daring and self-confidence. I’m not sure if he knows that he has physical limitations. He is also dogged in his determination to accomplish a goal if it is something that peaks his interest. Within the last year he has taken to teach himself the piano and guitar. In a very short time he has developed a fluidity on the piano that astounds me and is way beyond where I was on the guitar is such a short time—all without learning to read a bit of music to any considerable degree. And last but not least I believe he has a strong testimony of the Gospel. Though somewhat reserved about expressing publicly his deep convictions, I’ve seen the emotion well up in him as he received his patriarchal blessing and his ordination to an Elder in the Melchizedek Priesthood. He decided this past year to serve a mission for our church and has “put in his papers in” and had the interviews required for a mission call. We are now awaiting notice in the mail to know where the Lord wants him to serve. When asked where he would like to go by the high councilman of our stake at the ordination last week, Dylan responded that he really didn’t care. I’m sure that he will make an impression and an impact wherever he goes. He always has.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Randy Mundy & the Mundy Mourning Blues Band

Wahoo! My band is out and about the next couple of weekends. We are playing a dinner and show--a Valentine's Day package--at Peery's Egyptian Theater in Ogden Utah, Saturday the 12th--dinner at 6pm, show at 7:30pm. My usual players will be there except for Bob Bailey. Our good friend and great blues and jazz piano player, Stan Seale, will be sitting in for Bob. Believe me, we will be just as good with Stan in the lineup. The following weekend, Saturday the 19th we will be at the Murray Theater in Murray Utah--south of down town Salt lake City proper at State Street and Vine. That show will also start at 7:30pm. Stan will again fill in for Bob and guitarist and bassist, Ralph Edson, who filled in for Bob Bohnam, our regular lead guitarist, at the Midway Show last year--you can catch some of that show on youtube--search Randy Mundy and it should come right up--will be filling in for our regular bassist, Eric Manning. Again, with Ralph on bass the band will not suffer. We usually do a couple of songs where Bassist and background vocalist, Dave Wayt covers the Bass and Eric Manning goes to the baritone sax to join Berin Stephens and Jim Brearton in the horn section. That will be the case at the show in Ogden on the 12th. Dave will also do his bit on the bass for those tunes on the 19th, but we will have the treat of Ralph joining Bob Bonham on lead guitars. It will be fun to hear them play together. So if you are in the Salt Lake area during the next couple of weekends, you should definitely catch one if not both of our shows.

See You There!,