As I’ve written recently, excessive unemployment benefits account for the current labor shortage, which in turn has fueled inflation. It seemed to hit the fast food industry first, as workers could make more money staying at home than returning to their reopening restaurants. As I detailed in “Fast Food Premium,” restaurants began offering higher pay, signing bonuses, and even cash for submitting an application. All of those costs get factored into the price of the final product, causing prices to increase.
Thanks again to subscribers and regular readers for your patience. It’s been a wonderfully quiet day at home—literally, I’ve only gone outside to check the mail and to cut some oregano from my garden—so I’ve gotten a ton of writing done today.
After a long school year and a whirlwind trip to Universal Studios, I am finally settling into my summertime schedule. My History of Conservative Thought course did not “make” this summer, as I only had one student enroll (the course really needs a minimum of three students to work well), but my dance card is full enough with lessons and other obligations and engagements.
Next week I’ll be running my first ever “Rock and Roll Camp” at my little school. It will essentially be a condensed version of the Music Ensemble class I run throughout the school year, squeezed into four three-hour days. The plan is to end the final day with a short concert. I’m waiting to hear back on who is enrolled and what kind of instrumentation we have, as that will determine the song selections, but I think it will should be a fun camp.
After that it’s the return of Minecraft Camp, a perennial favorite. At last count I have either ten or eleven campers signed up for that camp, which is quite good. Minecraft Camp is the most lucrative camp of the summer, and accounts for a good chunk of my supplemental income this time of year. I missed out on it last year, as I was very sick, so here’s hoping I’m good to go this summer.
I had a lot of delayed posts this weekend—including this one!—so I thought I would do the ultimate in self-indulgence and dedicate this Lazy Sunday to delayed posts—not the late posts that ultimately made it up, but the posts announcing the delays.
So, without further—delay (titter, titter)—here we go:
I made it back from my latest trip to Universal Studios after a long, tedious drive that took up the better part of Sunday. I’d intended to hammer out a belated Lazy Sunday upon my return, but I was so wiped from the drive, I just watched television instead.
With all the driving on I-4, I-95, I-26, I-77, and I-20, I had ample time to think about the pros and cons of the Interstate Highway System. I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the Interstate. On the love side of the equation, I appreciate the convenience of being able to drive vast distances in reasonable times. The trip that took us around seven hours to complete yesterday (and that was with terrible traffic and inclement weather) would have taken, according to Google Maps, between nine and ten hours. In reality, that would have been closer to eleven or twelve hours with stops, traffic, etc.
As an engine for economic growth, the Interstate is probably the best investment the federal government ever made. It was pitched to Congress as a national security project—we needed broad, interstate boulevards for our tanks to deploy swiftly against a Soviet invasion—an approach that John C. Calhoun attempted as Secretary of War in 1817 (under the strict constructionist Democratic-Republican James Madison, Calhoun’s Bonus Bill faced a swift veto). But the real benefit of the Interstate Highway System is its ability to move people and goods swiftly, cutting down on shipping and transportation costs, and making longer commutes feasible.
Granted, there were downsides: the small towns and tourist traps alongside old federal highways and State roads. Just as the old railroad towns withered up when the trains stopped running—or repurposed into some other form—many small towns died out when the Interstate diverted traffic away from them. Of course, the converse is true: many towns boomed when the Interstate weaved their way.
So, one could surmise I appreciate the Interstate for its convenience and beneficial qualities. So, where is the hate?
Today’s SubscribeStar Saturday—like last weekend’s—will be delayed. Subscribers, you’ll have two posts to look forward to next week: one detailing the perils and opportunities of small-scale entrepreneurism, the other offering a detailed rundown of the TJC Spring Jam (what was intended to be today’s post).
One reason for the delay is that yesterday I spent eighteen hours in Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. I walked around 30,000 steps, or 12.3 miles, according to my iPhone’s pedometer. Because of the hotel where we’re staying, we have Express Passes, so we managed to ride pretty much everything we hope to ride—including the new Velocicoaster, which doesn’t officially open until 10 June. We managed to get in after a two-hour wait and some technical delays. The attraction is running in rehearsal mode at the moment, so some elements might not be present, but the coaster itself is definitely complete.
More details to come in a detailed post—probably next Saturday.
Thank you for your patience, subscribers. I’ll get caught up soon!
I’m back in Orlando, Florida, for another trip to Universal Studios. Tomorrow’s SubscribeStar Saturday will likely be late again, but Lazy Sunday should be good to go. I’ll post in a bit more detail about our adventures down here later on.
Next week I’ll be making up last week’s SubscribeStar Saturday and tomorrow’s in great detail. Apologies to subscribers for the delays. Even though it’s now summer vacation, those final teacher workdays were doozies, with a flurry of end-of-the-year items to complete, not least of all accurate report card grades and comments.
It looks like this summer’s run of History of Conservative Thought will be cancelled, unfortunately, due to low enrollment (one student signed up—d’oh!). It actually works out, though, as I’m hitting a whopping ten students for private music lessons over the summer. If everyone continues into the next academic year, I’ll have twelve students in total during the school year—the highest ever.