As you know Delta Airlines is close to bankruptcy. Their income is less than their outgo. They are running out of money. In order to stay in business they must either take in a lot more cash or cut expenses. In today's economy they cannot raise their fares as they will sell even fewer tickets because competition is fierce.
If you can't take in more money the only alternative is to cut internal expenses. The first to go are the non-operating employees - the little guys on the ground have the smallest paychecks and are now doing the jobs of those who were laid off. That leaves us with the aircraft mechanics and pilots.
Of course the plane is not going to go anywhere without them, but these are the highest paid people in the company beside the executives. The bosses have said to the pilot's union either take a pay cut or we go out of business and you have no job at all. The unions know you can't get blood out of a turnip.
What has all this got to do with investing? I won't buy Delta stock now as I don't know if they will be in business next year. No, but I want you to keep this in mind as we look at the budget of the United States. Uncle Sugar is now spending way more than he is taking in in taxes. The politicians want to increase the payout for Medicare and protect (?) Social Security. These are both threatened even though they tell us they won't touch them. Doesn't this sound something like Delta Airlines?
There is not too much difference except Uncle can keep printing money out of thin air. (That's what the Fed does.) As this goes on and on it means that every dollar we have is becoming watered down. We call it inflation. It is really a hidden tax.
Some time out there in the not too distant future those guys in Washington are going to tell us that YOU are going to have to take less benefits in Social Security and Medicare among many other things. "They can't do that!" Oh yes they can! It either that or you will see your savings disappear right before your eyes called inflation.
Politicians keep promising more "entitlement" programs and these are slowly strangling the country. Many of the European countries are trying to cut back on their give-away programs, but the people vote out the politicians who want to balance budgets until some day the economy will vanish just as the Weimar Republic did in Germany. Everyone goes equally broke.
About 50% of voters don't pay any income tax at all and they don't care. All they know is that some smooth-talking politician is promising them more.
As a voter you have to begin to understand that you cannot have your cake and eat it too or like the Delta pilots you won't have any airplane to fly.
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