Loose Talk of the Town

3 Cheers for Saturday

What, not four? Others are punditing U.S. economy very well.

Why there’ll always be real estate agents and contractors

In the HomeStyle section of the Saturday regional/state paper is the weekly Personal Space brief. Most weeks the subject, who is asked about her or his home and some biographical information, maneuvers to plug their business or charity. Tacky.

Today, though, the homeowner of the week praises the property.

My favorite space: There’s a road that leads up to our subdivision. It’s this great windy road that goes in between two wooded areas. … You come out of the city, and it’s almost like you’re in the country.
“… If I could do one thing to improve this space I would: Make it a little more accessible.”

That’s the American dream, in short metaphor.

Easy profit weekend

A tax-free weekend for school supplies runs today and Sunday.

In a somewhat restricted inventory, items that can be used for school, from office supplies (although, interestingly, nothing higher tech than calculators) to clothing (including “wedding apparel” and sunglasses under $100) will be sold while state (and local and county) sales taxes will not be applied.

It could be argued that we need what minimal taxes we Arkansans have to pay for all the services we expect full time, while still not enough for great education and good roads etc. Maybe two days of 365 days won’t hurt that much, even in a recession that may have resumed, if it ever ended a first time.

This is a discount of 6-10 percent or so (depending on what Arkansas town and county you live), where all the stores can skip their usual back-to-school enticements. Normally, otherwise savvy consumers don’t shop for sales unless they’re 25 percent or greater. A Wal-Mart, Target or Penney’s markdown often goes to 40 percent.

Six percent? Outta my way, let’s hit the mall!

Thus, proceeds of the sold-as-taxpayer-benefit go to the stores, not really the consumers.

Still the Land of Opportunity.

The meat of the matter

Let’s give a shout-out to Cargill around the corner. Really. Cargill’s turkey plant is just the other side of the railroad tracks from my office. It might be a mile if you walked the roads to get there, terrain and other buildings keep it from sight, but the aroma, well. The smell is present at various hours several days a week (Tyson facilities also are nearby). We’re used to it.

Springdale, Arkansas, made national, if not international, news earlier this week with its Cargill office recalling 36 million pounds of ground turkey. How do you sell that much? It takes six months, Feb. 20 to Aug. 2, the company said.

More than 70 people have become sick; one person has died. The bug with which it’s tainted, salmonella Heidelberg, is antibiotic resistant.

Mark Bittman of The New York Times recommends this article, “Resistant Salmonella: Deadly Yet Somehow Not Illegal,” from

When we humans do preventive medicine, that means we exercise more, eat better, and get our flu shots in the fall. When food processors embark on preventive medicine, they inoculate their birds and cows with antibiotics (and other chemicals for other purposes) so that at some point the bacteria figure it out and grow strains that won’t be killed by most medicines.

  • Chicken, white meat
  • Pork, the other white meat
  • Turkey, the other other white meat
  • Salmonella, meat’s other white meat
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3 replies on “3 Cheers for Saturday”

From Richard, via Facebook:

There’s something about “tax free” that leads to a suspension of logic in many. And, yes, the main beneficiaries are the businesses, not the consumers.

From Jason, via Facebook:

It’s actually nice back in N.C. All computers and accessories are included. So getting a ~$1300 laptop without the sales tax is pretty noticeable.

And I responded on Facebook:

True – handy for items that only go on sale when the upgrade’s released!

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