Thursday, June 30, 2016

Why is there unemployment?

There were 100 dogs on an island, and an airplane dropped 90 bones, and the dogs went out to search for them.  10 dogs came back with no bones.  The leaders created a training program to teach the dogs how to become better at finding the bones, and next time the 10 dogs that were trained got their bones, but 10 other dogs were boneless.

The number of jobs in the economy depends on spending.  Business hires people when it runs out of products and needs to make more of them.  If it can't sell the products it is making today, it won't hire any more workers.

When people save some of their money, don't spend all their incomes, they don't spend enough to buy all the stuff they produced.  Unless someone spends more than his income, some production will be unsold, and that leads to production cuts and layoffs.  This is known as the Paradox of Thrift.

You and I can't spend more than our incomes for very long.  It's unsustainable.  You can borrow some, but eventually you will owe too much, lenders will no longer lend to you, you will have to stop spending in order to pay off your loans.  The government, which creates money, can spend more than its income forever.  In the US, it has been doing it since 1837.  It is only the government deficit that allows us to save and not have continuous recession.

Still, the government cannot spend (or cut taxes) enough, by the usual means, so that everyone will be employed.  Well, it could, but we wouldn't like it.  Some resources will be exhausted before others, and continued attempts to buy more of those resources will result only in price increases, not more hiring and not more production.  Even if you never studied economics, you may have heard of the Phillips Curve.

There are still 100 dogs and only 90 bones.

But there is a way for everyone to be employed - that means everyone who wants a job, 0% unemployment not 4.7% "full" employment - and not have inflation.  We just need 10 more bones.

Please read and sign the petition.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Pinehurst #2

This one is #3 on the top 100 "you can play".  I've now played 3 of the top 5.

#2 is considered the masterpiece of the master, Donald Ross.  He lived here, in this house by the 3rd green.

This is where, as everyone knows, Payne Stewart won his second US Open championship in 1999, just months before his fatal plane crash.

The course is difficult because of the greens, which are described as being like an upside-down bowl.   A shot that is only a few feet from perfect can end up 30 yards away in the fairway, or in a bunker.

The caddies are part of the show, telling stories about the course and the tournaments that have been held here.  The 6th hole, they said, at 242 yards, is called the shortest par 5.

I didn't score nearly as well here as at Kiawah.  I didn't have my A-game, but even so it seemed I lost a full shot on each hole for being just a little bit off.  No birdies.  2 missed birdie putts.

There is only one water hazard, and they tried to fill it in, but it kept coming back because it is fed from a spring.

More pictures.

The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island

#5 on the list of top 100 "you can play" in the US.  There is lots of sand, but no bunkers.  Even the small manicured and raked sandy areas next to the greens are not hazards.

And there's no OB.  If you can find it, it's in play.  The course generally is very linksy, with hard, rolling fairways, unmowed native grasses for rough, and, of course, the ocean right there.

But several of the greens are very elevated.

And some of the fairways, too.

I made bogey on the first hole, and on the 2nd was next to the green but at the bottom of one of those 12-foot drops.  Couldn't see the flag, or even a tree, my aiming point was a cloud.  The first chip shot got to the top of the slope, paused, and rolled back to my feet.  The second one got over the summit, and I only knew what happened because I heard the clank! and the rest of the foursome yelling.

I then reeled off 5 more pars, and was one over after 7.  I had it all figured out.  You know how that ends.

I did manage one birdie, on the 13th, which was the hardest hole for the pros in the 2012 PGA.

Nice clubhouse.

And some wildlife.  We saw some deer, tried to warn them to stay out of the high grass and the water, but they didn't listen.

More pictures.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Great French restaurant where?

This is the review I posted on Tripadvisor.

Cafe Michel
5 stars are not enough
There may be French restaurants in New York or DC that have fancier digs and fancier prices, but they wouldn't have better food. The escargots were served naked in a dish, with garlic and butter, of course, and parsley and chopped mushrooms. Delicious! The waitress said they were Mary Jean style, but I can't find that on the internet, and I've not seen them served this way before. The Caesar salad was the best ever. We both had the seafood platter, the presentation was superb and the taste outstanding. Michel came and talked to us after the meal. We're full-time RVers, and he said his dream was to tour the country in an RV, with someone to drive for him, and he would ride his bike. I said he could come with us, and I would drive if he cooked.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Omni Cascades

I played the best "you can play" in Virginia today, the Omni Homestead Resort Cascades course.  This is for you, Scott.

This is where Sam Snead grew up, and had his first job as a pro.

The course was designed in 1923 by William S. Flynn.  It has hosted 7 USGA events, a Curtis Cup and an NCAA championship.

The course has a number of blind shots

and I didn't always drive up to the top of the hill to see what I needed to know.  There's plenty of local knowledge to be had.  If you look closely at that last one you can see a bulls-eye up in the trees, which is where you would aim from the left side of the fairway, if you knew on the tee that you were supposed to hit to the left side of the fairway.

The scenery is beautiful.  I was struck this week, driving though Virginia, as I have been other times in other places during our travels, with how many trees there are in our great country.  Even in a state like Virginia, which is pretty densely populated as states go, there are great forests and hills and meadows of open spaces.

If you go to this resort, DO NOT use route 606, aka Sulfur Springs Rd., aka McGraw Gap Rd.  Our GPS sent me this way, and would have done so even in "RV mode", even though this road is marked by a small sign to be impassable by vehicles more than 25 feet long.  The truck is only 22 feet, so I was able to negotiate the hairpin turns on the switchbacks, with nobody coming the other way, but those were the easy parts.  On the wide spots, the road is not more than 16 feet, and the truck is 8 feet wide in its dually "hips".  Some sections looked to me to be about the same size as most interstate highway lanes, so the truck took up more than 2/3 of the pavement width.  There are lots of blind turns, with very short straight sections between them, a cliff wall on one side, and a sheer dropoff on the other.  And the speed limit is 55.  I encountered only a few vehicles coming the other way, thankfully not on sections we couldn't get by each other, and not at speeds that wouldn't allow for adjustments, although some of the little cars were going too fast to have survived a closer encounter.

The Homestead bills itself as the oldest resort in America, founded in 1766 (I don't think it was in the Omni group at the time;)

I guess in those days the first resort would be in the mountains, because "home" was at the beach, they didn't need a resort there.  The town is Hot Springs, so I suppose the healing vapors were the attraction.

The cicadas were out in force.  One tried to fly into my shirt.

Hear the cicadas.

There are indeed cascades on the course.

Very soothing.

Does this tee shot remind you of anything?

I was having success moving the ball from right to left, after a tip from Hank Haney seems to have finally sunk in.  So I figured this was the perfect time to really let it go.  I aimed at the tree on the right, through the fairway, and pull-hooked it across the stream, into the woods.

There's a graveyard next to the 8th tee, just in case a bad score on #7 makes you want to cash in.

My score wasn't great, I'm still working on swing changes, but I did birdie the 17th with 3 really good shots and a 20-footer.

The clubhouse, from the 17th fairway

More pictures.

I will post Kiawah and Pinehurst next.  Soon.