Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Four Years of The Tempest

Today marks the completion of four years for The Tempest. That's four years, 805 blog posts, the equivalent of two War and Peaces, and while nobody will ever accuse me of being in Tolstoy's league, at least I've had enough to say to keep this thing going. It has been great fun, so much so that I  believe I would write even if nobody ever read it, although the fact that so many of you do is gratifying.

I'm writing this on my new iPad Air 2, a first for me. It's pretty cool, a surprise Christmas present from my wife. I love it and feel absolutely, positively zero remorse about the fact that it was assembled by cheap Chinese labor, although I would have preferred cheap American labor. If this makes me a callous, uncaring capitalist, then so be it. The benefits of free trade far exceed its limitations in my view, so I'm not going to lose any sleep over how much Yao brings home every Friday.

Speaking of capitalist exploitation, my son and I had a fabulous text debate yesterday about the positive vs. negative effects of Walmart on the economy. It was awesome. Patrick took the view that Walmart is a greedy, money hoarding beast that deliberately impoverishes its workers by paying slave wages, forcing the government to have to provide food stamps and other welfare assistance to them lest they starve. I took the view that the mere existence of Walmart has lowered the cost of living of lower income Americans and therefore done more economic good for poor people than any government program in history, and besides...what Walmart chooses to pay its employees is none of my business since I hold no economic interest in the company. We went back and forth all afternoon! The entire exchange was civil, well reasoned and well argued, making me extremely proud of my articulate son. I'm not sure who won, probably a draw. But since I'm the Dad...I win.

Pam and I will go out for dinner tonight and try to avoid drunk drivers along the way. 2015 is coming whether we are ready for it or not. As long as I get to spend it with her everything will be ok.