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      IF you find yourself sitting at a table tomorrow with relatives who include at least one person convinced Obama and the $)$@_%$ Liberals are destroying the country and we're all going to go off the fiscal cliff because of all those greedy people and their *#@&#$(Y@$ free stuff from the government, there's a fun thing you can do with a smart phone.

     I've got an iPhone, and one of the free Apps that comes with it is Stocks. (There are doubtless equivalents on other platforms.) Here's how you can use it. When you start it, it gives you a split screen when holding it vertically. The top window is a list of assorted stocks and stock indexes. The bottom window is a graph showing the selected stock's performance over time intervals starting at 1d, 1w, 1m, 3m, 6m, 1y, 2y....

     If you turn the phone sideways, the graph expands to fill the screen AND you can pull up prices for 5 years and 10 years as well. Here's where the fun starts.

   Pull up the chart for the Dow Jones Industrial Average over ten years. You should see a graph extending from 2003 - 2012. If you slide your finger along the top of the screen, you go to the next one: the NASDAQ Composite. Next is the S&P 500. Notice something?

    All three of those graphs slowly climb to a peak in 2007 followed by a steep crash down into 2008. Then, from 2009 on (when the stimulus was peaking), they all start ramping up again to just about as high today as they were in 2007. (NASDAQ does even better.) In other words, the stock market under President Obama is doing as well as it ever did under George W. Bush - and it's hit its peak in about half the time it took for the market to recover from 911 under 8 years of Republican economic policies.

        You may want to stop at this point to clean up after certain heads explode.

   If you want some more talking point ammo, Sara Robinson has some great Thanksgiving talking points from several years ago that still apply. Dave Johnson has some great resources to deal with Fiscal Cliff nonsense. If you want more of my suggestions and observations, they're over here.


Using a smart phone to deal with dumb ideas....

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