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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Hair Salon Down - Bad

Just a little true anecdote on how the "rich" cutting back is hurting the "not rich."

My wife went to a hair salon last Friday. The salon is located on the East Side of Providence, Rhode Island, near Brown University. This is the premier neighborhood in Providence, with a mix of very expensive houses along with more modest houses. The neighborhood is about as close to a gathering of Barack Obama's wealthiest 5% (or 2%) as you will find in the City of Providence.

Of course, most of these people do not consider themselves rich. There are a lot of doctors, lawyers, accountants and other professionals who live in this neighborhood who work long hours and yes, have achieved a level of income which means they do not worry about paying the next mortgage bill.

But they are not rich in the sense that they do not have to continue working, or worrying. Because they make too much, they know they will pay full freight for their children to go to college, they pay high income and property taxes which support a multitude of social services they do not use, and just about the only thing the government gives them is police and fire protection. There are many dual income families, in part because two incomes are needed to maintain a lifestyle when one takes into account how much the government takes.

Whether they have $250,000 of income, or not, is irrelevant. They are the working, professional upper middle class whose spending habits feed so much of the economy. And my guess is that a lot of them, almost certainly a majority, voted for Barack Obama.

This was a Friday, midday. In the past, the salon would be packed with chatty women (sorry - couldn't resist). But not this Friday. It was almost empty. The hairdresser is a women who does not own the shop but "rents" a chair, so that in effect she is self-employed. The hairdresser complained about how so many of her regular customers had stopped coming in.

Are people cutting back because they have lost money in the stock market, or jobs, or are they just cutting back in response to the fear stoked by this administration? Can't tell from this example.

But one thing is for sure, there really is such a thing as trickle down economics. It's called economics. Single out the "rich" for punitive taxation, talk down the markets, create a climate of fear, and you will create a self-fulfilling prophecy of economic doom. And you will hurt people who are not yet "rich," but want to be.

UPDATE: If you are at a loss for words to describe how you are feeling, please consult the Blagospheric Neologian, not Wikipedia like people who had Star Wars bedroom curtains as a kid.


  1. I have my hair cut and colored every 8 weeks. I had it done last Sat. My stylist told me people are stetching their appointments out. WAAAAYY out. She told me this as soon as I sat down - I had been planning to tell her I wanted to go 12 weeks. Naturally - I chickened out. But - I really can't afford it. I think I am going to grow it out - let the blond go - let the white take over and wear it in an elegant french twist. I will probably call her to change the appt next week. I work for the brokerage industry. My income is down about 35%...

  2. I usually color my own hair because it's too expensive to go in for "touch ups" every several weeks. Last Friday evening, I went to my local beauty supply store to pick up some hair color and supplies and the place was packed! The poor sales woman was being run ragged answering questions from customers in the store and on the phone. I joked that I had never seen the store that busy and she replied,"Me neither!" I suspected then that women were cutting down on the salong and doing their own styling at home. This article confirms my original thought.

  3. "Single out the "rich" for punitive taxation, talk down the markets, create a climate of fear, and you will create a self-fulfilling prophecy of economic doom. And you will hurt people who are not yet "rich," but want to be."

    Saul Alinsky and noted terrorist Bill Ayers would be proud. By jove, I think he's got it!

    Their INTENTION is just what you've described. What you see as a failure, they see as the goal.

    What you see as a bug, they see as a feature.

    You are frustrated becuase you think that the destruction of your wealth is a side-effect to their form of governance when in fact it is the goal of their governance. They hate you. You are white, hire brown people to do your lawn and cut your hair and watch your kids and all the other things regular people have to do for themselves.

    You're rich, white and don't have to worry about paying your next mortgage. So, you're evil.

    That sir, is what they teach kids at Cornell. My hats off to you and your associates.

    Mission Accomplished!

  4. My friends are a very hard working couple who both have their own small business. She owns her own hair salon and employs seven women who style hair. He is a self-employed electrical equipment salesman. They have two daughters in high school. They are considered rich by Obama in terms of taxation. I can assure you they are not rich. They drive ten year old cars, make the mortgage payment every month pay their business expenses and taxes without being late and are able to save a little (very little or none now). That Obama wants to take even more from them is criminal in my mind.

    Here's the answer: Define "rich" appropriately for puroses of taxation. A person should only be considered rich if they can quit working and maintain their current income and lifestyle.

    If, like my neighbors, they quit working they would lose most everything they have, they are certainly not rich.

    The above is of course an imperfect definition of rich, but it serves to show that those hard working people who depend on their incomes to maintain their middle-class homes and lives are many things, but rich is not one of them.

    Those who are truly rich by a reasonable definition (not just an arbitrary percentage of the population by income) should pay a fair (repeat fair) tax on their yearly income/revenues. They should not be taxed to support giveaways to those who pay zero tax or actually receive welfare payments from the government as Obama's so-called 'make work pay' plan provides.

  5. What the Taliban could not achieve under George Bush, Obama is accomplishing.

    What'd Bush tell us to do after the 9/11 fear freeze-up? Go out and shop.

    Now, in peace and safety, I want to convert what I have to gold and hide it because state and federal governments are coming after it.

  6. Ditto what those above said. I am in IT and in serious danger of losing my job this year. Several of our home conveniences we have decided to do without, one of which is the Keurig K-Cup coffee maker. The K-cups are a lot more expensive than ground coffee even when purchased in bulk for discount and free shipping. We bought a decent $40 coffeemaker and are now drinking $2.99/bag Eight O'Clock brand coffee. We have stopped buying lattes at Starbucks. We are cutting the phone bill back and soon ditching the ridiculously expensive iPhones. There's more good stuff we're giving up besides these.

    I detest this idiot in the WH and these awful Marxist Dems in Congress determined to destroy this country. Atlas is shrugging bigtime.

  7. I'll believe the stuff Obama and others are spewing about "the wealthy" when they quit going after income and start going after wealth. When are they going to try to tax and/or confiscate the actual wealth of Theresa Heinz-Kerry, or the Kennedys, or the Rockefeller, or the Dukes, or the Stewart Mott, or the Ford Family, and so on?

    Why not go after accumulated wealth (usually accumulated by ancestors and not actual entrepneurs or workers) held by big time political donors. Oh. Right. Nevermind.

  8. Bill,

    The other thing I am seeing is a lot of professionals playing a ame of barter for services with no recorded income for either party.

    Ask around about that and try and monitize it.

    Your eyes will be opened as to what "Going
    Jane Galt" is doing to the economy.

  9. John Kerry is one of the owners of AIG, so I wouldn't expect Barack Obama to be taxing him, or confiscating his wealth any time soon, buddy.

    The crooks are running the joint, folks.