David Ashby

Dr. David Ashby: We have met the enemy

You may have heard that phrase “we have met the enemy and he is us!” It’s attributable to a character named Pogo. Given the phrase, you might think Pogo was some type of military commander. In fact, he was a cartoon character in a comic strip of the same name. He and a friend were commenting on the natural beauty of a forest but were distressed by the litter discarded there by visitors. Thus, the phrase. Human beings had detracted from the natural beauty of the forest by throwing litter everywhere.

Dr. David Ashby: Don’t lose out on Social Security benefits

If you’re nearing retirement and wondering about Social Security benefits, there are a few things to be aware of to avoid loss of benefits. For starters, the full retirement age (FRA) for drawing Social Security benefits has moved up. In 2022, the FRA is age 66 and 4 months. This apples to folks born in 1956. The FRA moves to a maximum of 67 for those born in 1960 and later.

Dr. David Ashby: The January roller coaster

On Monday, January 24, the Dow Jones industrial average plummeted more than 1,100 points during the day. That sounds like a big move, and it is, but given the current Dow level, it was roughly a 3 percent decline. Maybe 3 percent sounds better to you than 1,100 points. Maybe not. Either way, if you were tuned in to CNBC or Fox Business, you might have had a nervous pit in your stomach. Remarkably, however, the Dow ended up 99 points by the end of the day.

Dr. David Ashby: Those pesky all-time market highs

If you watched any financial news last year at all, you may have heard the announcer say “Well, the stock market hit a new all-time high today!” In fact, the S&P 500 hit a new market high on 70 separate occasions in 2021. That is one about every three trading days.

Dr. David Ashby: The feed lot lesson

Growing up, I was the oldest of six kids. To help put food on the table, we raised a garden each year and fed out a hog or a calf to put in the freezer. The corral where the animal was kept was about seventy yards from the house and we had to carry feed and water to it each day. One day, several of us kids were arguing about whose turn it was to feed the calf.

Dr. David Ashby: The economics of smoking

When I was in grade school, I recall riding in the car with my granddad one day. At that point, he had been diagnosed with emphysema and was having some difficulty breathing. He casually remarked that if I wanted his advice, I should never start smoking. He said smoking was an addictive habit that, once started, might be hard to quit. He said if he had known the dangers, he would never have started. I recall that conversation as if it were yesterday. And while I have puffed a time or two on a cigarette or cigar, I never bought my first pack.

Dr. David Ashby: What do we mean by “printing money”?

You have probably heard people use the phrase “they’re just printing money in Washington,” referring to the uncontrolled spending going on from our nation’s capital. When you hear that, you might picture a politician bent over a printing press cranking out $20 bills. But that’s not how it works. For one thing, your representative is busy tending to other important matters like the border crisis. For another, well, that’s just not how it works.