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30 Statistics That Show That The Middle Class Is Dying Right In Front Of Our Eyes As We Enter 2012
The Economic Collapse ^ | 12/30/2011 | Michael Snyder

Posted on 12/31/2011 11:36:54 AM PST by SeekAndFind

Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most vibrant middle class that the world has ever seen. Unfortunately, that is rapidly changing. The statistics that you are about to read prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the U.S. middle class is dying right in front of our eyes as we enter 2012. The decline of the middle class is not something that has happened all of a sudden. Rather, there has been a relentless grinding down of the middle class over the last several decades. Millions of our jobs have been shipped overseas, the rate of inflation has far outpaced the rate that our wages have grown, and overwhelming debt has choked the financial life out of millions of American families. Every single day, more Americans fall out of the middle class and into poverty. In fact, more Americans fell into poverty last year than has ever been recorded before. The number of middle class jobs and middle class neighborhoods continues to decline at a staggering pace. As I have written about previously, America as a whole is getting poorer as a nation, and as this happens wealth is becoming increasingly concentrated at the very top of the income scale. This is not how capitalism is supposed to work, and it is not good for America.

Today I went over to Safeway and I was absolutely appalled at the prices. I honestly don't know how most families make it these days. I ended up paying over 140 dollars for about two-thirds of a cart of food. That was after I "saved" 67 dollars on sale items.

When the cost of the basic things that we need - housing, food, gas, electricity - go up faster than our incomes do, that means that we are getting poorer.

Sadly, if you look at the long-term numbers, some very clear negative trends emerge....

-The number of good jobs continues to decrease.

-The rate of inflation continues to outpace the rate that our wages are going up.

-American consumers are going into almost unbelievable amounts of debt.

-The number of Americans that are considered to be "poor" continues to grow.

-The number of Americans that are forced to turn to the government for financial assistance continues to go up.

After you read the information below, it should become abundantly clear that the U.S. middle class is in a whole heap of trouble.

The following are 30 statistics that show that the middle class is dying right in front of our eyes as we enter 2012....

#1 Today, only 55.3 percent of all Americans between the ages of 16 and 29 have jobs.

#2 In the United States today, there are 240 million working age people. Only about 140 million of them are working.

#3 According to CareerBuilder, only 23 percent of American companies plan to hire more employees in 2012.

#4 Since the year 2000, the United States has lost 10% of its middle class jobs. In the year 2000 there were about 72 million middle class jobs in the United States but today there are only about 65 million middle class jobs.

#5 According to the New York Times, approximately 100 million Americans are either living in poverty or in "the fretful zone just above it".

#6 According to that same article in the New York Times, 34 percent of all elderly Americans are living in poverty or "near poverty", and 39 percent of all children in America are living in poverty or "near poverty".

#7 In 1984, the median net worth of households led by someone 65 or older was 10 times larger than the median net worth of households led by someone 35 or younger. Today, the median net worth of households led by someone 65 or older is 47 times larger than the median net worth of households led by someone 35 or younger.

#8 Since the year 2000, incomes for U.S. households led by someone between the ages of 25 and 34 have fallen by about 12 percent after you adjust for inflation.

#9 The total value of household real estate in the U.S. has declined from $22.7 trillion in 2006 to $16.2 trillion today. Most of that wealth has been lost by the middle class.

#10 Many formerly great manufacturing cities are turning into ghost towns. Since 1950, the population of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has declined by more than 50 percent. In Dayton, Ohio 18.9 percent of all houses now stand empty.

#11 Since 1971, consumer debt in the United States has increased by a whopping 1700%.

#12 The number of pages of federal tax rules and regulations has increased by 18,000% since 1913. The wealthy know how to avoid taxes, but most of those in the middle class do not.

#13 The number of Americans that fell into poverty (2.6 million) set a new all-time record last year and extreme poverty (6.7%) is at the highest level ever measured in the United States.

#14 According to one study, between 1969 and 2009 the median wages earned by American men between the ages of 30 and 50 dropped by 27 percent after you account for inflation.

#15 According to U.S. Representative Betty Sutton, America has lost an average of 15 manufacturing facilities a day over the last 10 years. During 2010 it got even worse. Last year, an average of 23 manufacturing facilities a day shut down in the United States.

#16 Back in 1980, less than 30% of all jobs in the United States were low income jobs. Today, more than 40% of all jobs in the United States are low income jobs.

#17 Most Americans are scratching and clawing and doing whatever they can to make a living these days. Half of all American workers now earn $505 or less per week.

#18 Food prices continue to rise at a very brisk pace. The price of beef is up 9.8% over the past year, the price of eggs is up 10.2% over the past year and the price of potatoes is up 12% over the past year.

#19 Electricity bills in the United States have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row.

#20 The average American household will have spent a staggering $4,155 on gasoline by the end of 2011.

#21 If inflation was measured the exact same way that it was measured back in 1980, the rate of inflation in the United States would be well over 10 percent.

#22 If the number of Americans considered to be "looking for work" was the same today as it was back in 2007, the "official" unemployment rate put out by the U.S. government would be up to 11 percent.

#23 According to the Student Loan Debt Clock, total student loan debt in the United States will surpass the 1 trillion dollar mark at some point in 2012. Most of that debt is owed by members of the middle class.

#24 Incredibly, more than one out of every seven Americans is on food stamps and one out of every four American children is on food stamps at this point.

#25 Since Barack Obama took office, the number of Americans on food stamps has increased by 14.3 million.

#26 In 2010, 42 percent of all single mothers in the United States were on food stamps.

#27 In 1970, 65 percent of all Americans lived in "middle class neighborhoods". By 2007, only 44 percent of all Americans lived in "middle class neighborhoods".

#28 According to a recent report produced by Pew Charitable Trusts, approximately one out of every three Americans that grew up in a middle class household has slipped down the income ladder.

#29 In the United States today, the wealthiest one percent of all Americans have a greater net worth than the bottom 90 percent combined.

#30 The poorest 50 percent of all Americans now collectively own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States.

Sadly, this article could have been much, much longer. There are so many other statistics about the middle class that could have been included.

For even more insane economic numbers that show just how dramatically the U.S. economy is declining, just check out this article: "50 Economic Numbers From 2011 That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe".

What is even more frightening is that this is about as good as things are going to get.

We have already had "the economic recovery", such as it was.

Now we are heading for another major financial crisis. Just like back in 2008, the entire world is going to feel the pain.

But we never recovered from the last financial crisis. We are like a boxer that is not ready to handle another blow.

And who is going to get hurt the most? It will be those at the bottom of the food chain of course. Tens of millions of Americans that are living in poverty will experience a massive amount of pain, and millions more Americans will fall out of the middle class and will join them.

If you have a good job, do your best to hang on to it. If you don't have a job, do your best to get one while you still can. Jobs will become very precious in the years ahead.

But also try to do what you can to become less dependent on the system. Almost anyone can find ways to make some extra money on the side. Yes, it will likely cut into your television time. If someday you were to lose your job you don't want to be left with zero income.

Right now, the U.S. economy is slowly dying and as time goes by the number of middle class Americans it will be able to support will continue to decrease.

Yes, it is like a perverse game of musical chairs, but this is where we are at.

I encourage all of you to think about how you plan to make it through the collapse that is ahead.

Sticking our heads in the sand and pretending that everything is going to be okay is not going to help anyone.



TOPICS: Business/Economy; Society
KEYWORDS: 2012; buildingofficials; economy; landuseregulators; liberalism; middleclass; teachers

1 posted on 12/31/2011 11:37:01 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

ping


2 posted on 12/31/2011 11:46:25 AM PST by unkus (Silence Is Consent)
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To: SeekAndFind

The true unemployment numbers are probably double what the official numbers are, or worse.

The classification “no longer working” is a statistician’s ruse to hide the true number. If you are unemployed long enough that your benefits run out, you aren’t counted anymore.

And if you graduate from school but can’t find a job, you aren’t counted.

Most companies are running scared. If they want to launch a new project, they can’t get permission. Or they are tied up with regulations for years on end as they wind, slowly, through the maze of approvals and studies and hearings they have to go through before the permission is finally denied anyway.

Who can survive waiting years to start a project?

So they hang on and hope for better days, or slide slowly toward bankruptcy. Or skip it and build in China and get on with life.


3 posted on 12/31/2011 11:47:06 AM PST by marron
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To: SeekAndFind

The middle class are the ones THAT WORK...

Lower classes don’t want to work and pretty much dont work..
UNless selling drugs, stealing, and cashing gov’t checks can be considered work..

Obama is destroying the middle class.. by destroying the employers..
Who are also middle class..


4 posted on 12/31/2011 11:56:02 AM PST by hosepipe (This propaganda has been edited to include some fully orbed hyperbole...)
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To: marron
If you are unemployed long enough that your benefits run out, you aren’t counted anymore.

I mean, seriously . . . where does this myth come from?

5 posted on 12/31/2011 12:00:05 PM PST by 1rudeboy
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To: SeekAndFind

Waaaaa. Most of the middle class is getting its incomes directly or indirectly from government. Starve the bipartisan, socialist, parasitic B.


6 posted on 12/31/2011 12:02:32 PM PST by familyop ("Wanna cigarette? You're never too young to start." --Deacon, "Waterworld")
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To: SeekAndFind
Almost anyone can find ways to make some extra money on the side.

Most already are. The underground economy continues to grow as a direct response to the continued growth of onerous and invasive government.

The numbers in the "official" economy continue to erode as more and more people learn to survive outside of it.

7 posted on 12/31/2011 12:04:34 PM PST by Valpal1 (Worst tyranny is to force a man to pay for what he does not want because you think it good for him.)
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To: marron
The classification “no longer working” is a statistician’s ruse to hide the true number.

Actually, I meant to say "no longer looking" is a statisticians's ruse.

8 posted on 12/31/2011 12:16:33 PM PST by marron
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To: SeekAndFind

The establishment people want this to happen. Only way to consolidate power.

Everything the middle class has saved and have their wealth in, devise indirect ways to strip it away. Certain critical areas, allow to increase costs (via laws and regulations so it’s not directly traceable) much faster than inflation and any kind of potential raise in your job. Insurance. Taxes. Energy. Food. Water utilities. Fuel. Medical. Higher Education. School taxes for public education and county technical colleges (whether you have kids in school or not!).

They ignore the financial problem they put us all in and even in these times attempt to pass huge budget spending items (new spending) while the old spending is killing us. They can’t collapse the currency and old framework fast enough. It’s their excuse to say “The Constitution doesn’t work with today’s problems (they manufactured, of course). We need a NEW structure, a new global way of doing things since everything is interconnected now.”

One catastrophe can be enough to wipe out a middle class family’s savings. It’s what they hope for because the establishment can’t be blamed directly for any one family’s fall from the middle class to poor status. But they are totally happy they are wiping out the middle class, that’s the whole point. Savings and wealth are sliced down through inflation, rising taxes, fees, service charges, regulations, losses, rising costs of commodities and utilities, personal/physical disasters, medical and insurance rates. You are either slowly having it taken away in ever increasing, but small chunks (death by a thousand cuts) - but the cuts are getting bigger; or you may lose it all in one or two large problems that you can’t recover from.

It’s all designed. In the age of fiat money (value of money not tied to any tangible thing - in our case the “full faith and credit” of the US, whatever that ethereal term may be) there is no need to have anyone pay taxes. Taxes are just control over people. Taking away their money (ie freedom and power), and also giving a legal way to jail someone if they are too “uppity” (18,000 pages of tax law nobody can master or not be in violation of if they put their infinite govt resources after you). When you have fiat money you can print as much as you want because you don’t have to have a certain amount of anything backing it. Fractional reserve banking allows banks to creating 90% of their “money” out of thin air based on a small percentage of fiat notes physically held by their bank. The system fails when people don’t pay their loans (ie give the bank real money to cover the 90% created out of thin air money the bank loaned out, but never physicall had). In this particular small way you can see fractional reserve lending might lead one to think of the similarities it has compared to derivatives. If banks make a lot of loans where most of their “money” created out of nothing is lent, and bets wrong and more and more of the loans fail, the bank tanks big time. Same with derivatives.


9 posted on 12/31/2011 12:19:07 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: SeekAndFind

The statistics comparing the year 2000 to now in #4 and #8 are a bit misleading. 2000 was the year the tech bubble burst, and many of those high paying tech jobs that were created to set up the servers for ecommerce and modify the mainframes for Y2K were no longer needed and were eliminated.


10 posted on 12/31/2011 12:22:45 PM PST by TwelveOfTwenty (Compassionate Conservatism? Promoting self reliance is compassionate. Promoting dependency is not.)
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To: SeekAndFind

How can this idiot country possibly have anyone who thinks the Kenyan is doing a good job or even has a clue assuming he would want to make it better? Dumbed-down America.


11 posted on 12/31/2011 12:24:16 PM PST by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: SeekAndFind

Not buying this semantic argument over poor and middle classes. Today’s poor are in better shape than the middle class of 25 years ago.

“According to a recent report produced by Pew Charitable Trusts, approximately one out of every three Americans that grew up in a middle class household has slipped down the income ladder.”

Cheating by only telling part of the story. One in three is a low number considering the current economic situation. In the last 15 years a significant fraction of the middle class has moved into the lower-upper class. Those that have slipped will catch up as the demographics become more favorable.

This is typical static model fallacy, usually a province of liberal thought. We have a difficult ten years to work through. This is mainly due to the interface of demographics with under-funded social programs. When all is said and done we will have gone through about 14 years of tough times to make up for 50 years of stupidity and a baby boom that had consequences.

This has been evident and baked in the cake since the early 90’s.


12 posted on 12/31/2011 12:25:54 PM PST by SaxxonWoods (....The days are long, but the years are short.....)
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To: SeekAndFind

How can this idiot country possibly have anyone who thinks the Kenyan is doing a good job or even has a clue assuming he would want to make it better? Dumbed-down America.


13 posted on 12/31/2011 12:27:42 PM PST by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: Secret Agent Man

Unfortunately, the middle class is too brainwashed to defend itself.


14 posted on 12/31/2011 12:34:54 PM PST by mas cerveza por favor
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To: F15Eagle

“How can this idiot country possibly have anyone who thinks the Kenyan is doing a good job or even has a clue assuming he would want to make it better? “


You really think Obama has been mainly responsible for the jobs and factories that have been exported under the guise of free trade? Guess you do. Obama has been no help but the middle class has been sinking since Bush made China a permanent favored trading nation.

I looked at the gifts I bought and received and I saw where the middle class jobs have gone.


15 posted on 12/31/2011 12:36:35 PM PST by ex-snook ("above all things, truth beareth away the victory")
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To: SeekAndFind
Stamping out the bourgeois was a primary goal of Lenin and the Bolsheviks. And now the Bolsheviks have been given power to turn their rope upon America.

Elections have consequences. Unfortunately, our educational system has been dumbed down so much that an entire generation has no understanding of the enslavement of socialism.

16 posted on 12/31/2011 12:37:08 PM PST by Hoodat (Because they do not change, Therefore they do not fear God. -Psalm 55:19-)
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To: F15Eagle

“How can this idiot country possibly have anyone who thinks the Kenyan is doing a good job or even has a clue assuming he would want to make it better? “


You really think Obama has been mainly responsible for the jobs and factories that have been exported under the guise of free trade? Guess you do. Obama has been no help but the middle class has been sinking since Bush made China a permanent favored trading nation.

I looked at the gifts I bought and received and I saw where the middle class jobs have gone.


17 posted on 12/31/2011 12:37:26 PM PST by ex-snook ("above all things, truth beareth away the victory")
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To: mas cerveza por favor

If you’re already spending most of your time trying to keep your head above water, you can’t make dinner and walk the dog, too.


18 posted on 12/31/2011 12:40:37 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: ex-snook

Where did I say Obama was responsible for the exporting of jobs, which has been seriously going on since the 1970’s?


19 posted on 12/31/2011 12:52:50 PM PST by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: ex-snook

Where did I say Obama was responsible for the exporting of jobs, which has been seriously going on since the 1970’s?


20 posted on 12/31/2011 12:54:25 PM PST by F15Eagle (1 John 5:4-5, 4:15, 5:13; John 3:17-18, 6:69, 11:25, 14:6, 20:31; Rom10:8-11; 1 Tim 2:5; Titus 3:4-5)
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To: SeekAndFind

Most of these are directly due to:

1. record immigration of 100 million new immigrants most of whom are uneducated unskilled poor illiterate from third world countries. We added 100 million potential job seekers

2. “free trade”. It ain’t free, and it ain’t fair. moving our jobs and factories to Communist china and elsewhere

3. eliminating the protective tariffs that the Founding Fathers created and replacing that lost tariff revenue that we used to get from foreign countries, with increased taxing Americans.


21 posted on 12/31/2011 1:32:56 PM PST by CGalen
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To: CGalen

OK Class, lets review ONCE more...the planned decline of America started at the:

1992 UN Rio Earth Summit where Agenda 21/Sustainable Development was introduced.
Signed by G.H.W. Bush Sr.
Maurice Strong, UN high official at Earth Summit is on record stating that “...isen’t it our responsibility to bring about the collapse of the industralized countries?”
(this is a big clue to the intent)
Congress balks at ratification of Agenda21/Sustainable Dev. Treaty. Treaty shelved, never approved by Congress.
Clinton issues Ex. Order 12582 creating the President’s Council to incorporate Agenda 21 principals into federal policy.
EPA directs all natural resource agencies to implement Agenda 21.
1994 NAFTA passed by Congress. Stated Goal in Preamble is to “Promote Sustainable Development (Agenda 21)”
More Ex. Orders issued implementing more Agenda 21 policy through the years including two more in the summer of 2011 creating the Ocean Council and Rural Council.
ICLEI formed at UN World Congress. Mission is to implement Sustainable Development/Agenda 21 at the local level. By 2011 over 600 US local govt.s pay dues to ICLEI and follow their direction in implementing provisions of Agenda 21/Sustainable Development/Koyoto locally.

RECAP; Agenda 21 is a direct economic and cultural attack on America. The Koyoto Agreement is am intergal part of the attack.
After almost 20 years of constant implementation of these economically devastating policies we are reaping the rewards of a collapsed economy.

Maurice Strong’s desire to see America collapse is coming to fruition.

Congress deserves special recognition for their role of keeping their heads in the sand while this has occurred.


22 posted on 12/31/2011 3:17:34 PM PST by Captain7seas (FIRE JANE LUBCHENCO FROM NOAA)
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To: SeekAndFind
being killed is more like it...
23 posted on 12/31/2011 3:51:57 PM PST by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: SeekAndFind

Good post. Sobering.


24 posted on 12/31/2011 3:59:17 PM PST by combat_boots (The Lion of Judah cometh. Hallelujah. Gloria Patri, Filio et Spiritui Sancto.)
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To: SeekAndFind

This just doesn’t pass the smell test - 1 out 4 children on Food Stamps. Most children have at least one sibling. So that means that 1 out of 2 families (give or take) are on food stamps. Does anyone believe that, let alone 1 out of 4?


25 posted on 12/31/2011 7:10:13 PM PST by Sioux-san
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To: Secret Agent Man
The welfare system HAS to be taken out of the hands of the Feds because they can just print the money and give it out. The states can't print their own money, and that is precisely why the states need to run welfare.

Restore the republic and ALL the problems go away.

26 posted on 12/31/2011 7:22:52 PM PST by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: SeekAndFind
"The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation."

V. Lenin or B. Obama?
27 posted on 12/31/2011 7:31:32 PM PST by Jay Santos CP ("Idiocracy"... It's no longer just a movie.)
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To: Sioux-san
I believe it is possible that 1 in 4 children is on food stamps. I know that in my little California town, for the last couple of years, when I go grocery shopping I am literally the ONLY one in line paying with my own, earned, money. Everyone in front of me is using the state food stamp "debit" cards. I am not exaggerating.

It has not always been like this.

28 posted on 01/01/2012 12:02:28 AM PST by informavoracious
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To: Sioux-san
This just doesn’t pass the smell test - 1 out 4 children on Food Stamps. Most children have at least one sibling. So that means that 1 out of 2 families (give or take) are on food stamps. Does anyone believe that, let alone 1 out of 4?

The distribution of children among income quintiles is not uniform.

Welfare queens have more children than doctors' wives, perhaps?

Cheers!

29 posted on 01/01/2012 6:55:12 AM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: grey_whiskers

but they weren’t talking about any specific income group - 1 out of 4 children in America is on Food Stamps according to the report.


30 posted on 01/01/2012 2:16:11 PM PST by Sioux-san
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To: Sioux-san
I hope this doesn't come across as offensive, but I think I failed to communicate my point effectively.

If you're interested, I can try to spell it out in detail in a private FReepmail, so as not to bore everyone to tears; but if not, I can just let it drop altogether.

Cheers!

31 posted on 01/01/2012 2:19:24 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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