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The Retired Investor: No End in Sight for Airline Agony
By Bill Schmick,
03:56PM / Thursday, July 28, 2022
Missing bags, canceled flights, stranded passengers, and interminable check-in times have made this summers' travel a nightmare. What's worse, the cost of travelling has exploded.   Consumers are paying an average 34 percent higher air fares this year versus last. The reasons why range from higher jet fuel costs, increased labor costs and sky rocketing demand among others. As the summer season progresses, it seems that the worse the experience gets, the more consumers are willing to pay.    If you watch the horror shows on the news, chaos abounds not only here in the U.S. but in the international airline system overall. Short comings in one

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The Retired Investor: Local Gas Stations Suffer From High Fuel Prices
By Bill Schmick,
10:34AM / Friday, July 22, 2022
Given the price jump in gasoline, you would think owners of the corner gas station are raking in the money. Unfortunately, the opposite is occurring, especially now that pump prices have been declining for more than a month.   "The national average price of a gallon of gasoline has dropped below $4.50 per gallon after touching $5 as recently as mid-June," according to Berkshire Money Management's Allen Harris. He goes on to say that despite the 10 percent decline, gas is still up 9.3 percent over the last three months. That brings the year's gain thus far to 36.8 percent    In an environment of higher gasoline prices, consumers are

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The Retired Investor: Public Sector Can't Compete in Tight Labor Market
By Bill Schmick,
04:01PM / Thursday, July 14, 2022
State and local government employees are essential in delivering everyday services to the American public, but the government's labor force is understaffed and has yet to recover from its pandemic lows. The reasons range from lower pay and less advancement to little flexibility in areas such as remote working.   Private-sector jobs have already surpassed pre-pandemic levels, while in the public sector, government employers are still looking for more than 664,000 workers with little success. This may sound like one of those "so what" kind of issues but consider this.   Public employees operate the nation's trains, subways and buses in addition

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The Retired Investor: China Tariffs on Deck
By Bill Schmick,
04:06PM / Thursday, July 07, 2022
The Biden administration is wrestling with whether to ease some of the Chinese import tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese goods. If they do, it would mark the first step in reconciling the trade differences between the world's two largest economies and could even nudge down the inflation rate.   The trade war is now over four years old and substantial tariffs remain. "To what end," some may ask, as certain deadlines approach. The first tranche of the Section 301, China imports tariffs on $34 billions of goods, is set to expire this week. Another $16 billion worth of tariffs will expire on Aug. 23 followed by $100 billion of tariffs on Sept.

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The Retired Investor: Streaming Comes of Age
By Bill Schmick,
04:12PM / Thursday, June 30, 2022
There are roughly 817,000 unique and different programs available via streaming services in the U.S. The median streaming household pays for three to four such subscriptions costing between $20 and $30 per month. Most consumers claim the choices are overwhelming and cumulatively expensive, so why don't they plan to do anything about it?   Those were the findings of a Nielson report titled "State of Play" published in April 2022 that analyzed the state of streaming entertainment in America. The number of programs (movies, series, specials, etc.) has increased by 26.5 percent since the beginning of 2020.   The amount of content that we couch potatoes

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