Soliciting more ask the grumpies questions!

Ask the grumpies is a feature we run almost every Friday (sometimes we post less-popular but still fascinating google questions).  You ask, we answer, or we punt and ask the grumpy nation to answer.  In any case, you get the benefit of not only our wisdom but the collective wisdom of the far wiser grumpy nation.

What questions do you have for us?  What can we bring clarity or further confusion to?  What can the grumpy nation ponder and discuss on your behalf?  Ask in the comments below or email us at grumpyrumblings at gmail dot com.

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30 Responses to “Soliciting more ask the grumpies questions!”

  1. jjiraffe Says:

    What do you think about cyber currency/bitcoin? Are you investing? Why or why not?

  2. rose Says:

    How is money raised by political campaign’s spent? Why does Congressperson in state A ask for donations for someone in State B? Are they buying power like corporate lobbyists? How can you tell if contribution money is going for family-hire-salaries or to pay off people who are claiming sexual assault/harassment? Why can a judge/congressperson pay off such claims with taxpayer money? How much of ‘Swing Left’ type organization’ money goes to overhead and how much to campaigns? How can a person judge which organization is the best impact for the dollar to contribute to? Are any organizations looking at this?

  3. Omdg Says:

    What would happen if trump was impeached?

    What are your thoughts on the budget that just got passed?

    What are good toys for kids who like to build things in addition to blocks and legos?

    How do you feel about teenagers and driving?

    Is the earth dying? What’s the best way to prevent this from happening?

  4. Leah Says:

    Would love an update on allowance — do you give your kids an allowance? How do you determine? Do you make them do chores, or can they do supplemental chores for more money? Is there any economic weight/research behind any one approach?

    Do you watch TV? What shows do you like?

    Trying to understand leveraged buyouts: why are they done, and why, legally, can it happen even if the people in the company don’t want it to happen? One of my friends was making noise about how Toys R Us didn’t go under due to a bad business model. He said it was due to a leveraged buy out and the company being saddled with debt. How does that even work?

    Is there any major personal opinion where you’re taken a big swing? For example, as a child, I was really anti-abortion until I learned why people might chose to have an abortion.

    I know you hate small talk. Do you have any techniques for keeping conversation going without being overly personal or monopolizing the conversation? What do you do when chatting with really quiet people?

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      We actually have an allowance post scheduled (it’s been written since January, but keeps getting pushed back).

      We don’t hate all small-talk– we LOVE LOVE LOVE talking about the weather, like any true midwesterner! But outside of that…

      Keep up the great questions! (Especially super easy ones like that TV one…)

  5. Solitary Diner Says:

    Here’s a fun one to make up for the question I asked about the economy. If you could travel anywhere and not have to deal with practical considerations (cost, vacation time, hassle of actually getting there), where would you choose to go and why? You can choose to do an adults-only vacation or a kids involved vacation (or one of each if you’re feeling really inspired to write).

  6. Anoninmass Says:

    Ooh good timing! I just read on another blawg a comment that declared $400,000 a year was middle class. Discuss…

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I think the commenter meant $300,000 (Financial Sam recently posted that and Our Next Life and a few other blogs called that out as the BS it is, yes EVEN IN SF)… We’ve got a small little rant on that topic coming up in a future RBOC (maybe next week if #2 doesn’t finish her “what are we reading” stuff).

      But we can rant more at length, or just link to a bunch of well-written posts on the topic by other bloggers.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I take it back! I just saw the comment to which you refer. What a clueless out of touch person. $400K/year is nowhere near middle class in Silicon Valley. If you need 400K to have a “middle class lifestyle” then you can move a few miles over to a community where houses are only 2 million dollars and the schools are just as good and there’s more public transportation. (In fact, that’s even more middle class because you’ll be rubbing shoulders with people from across the income spectrum! Unlike Atherton or the SF hills which are expensive partly so you don’t have to mix with normal people other than the ones who you employ.) If you’re feeling pinched on 400K/year or 300K/year that’s because of choices you made, not because you’re not upper-class.

  7. yetanotherpfblog Says:

    What policies do you think are best to address the affordable housing crisis in expensive cities?

    A question from the highly anxious, more paranoid parts of my brain: How do you plan for the future in times of political uncertainty? Are there signs you’re watching out for that would cause you to uproot or otherwise drastically change your living situation?

    Is there anything you wish you had done before you were married? How about before you had kids?

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      We have a series of posts to that middle question written shortly after the last presidential election (I think the series title was “putting on your oxygen mask”). Let me dig them up for you… and then determine whether or not anything has changed from when we were still in shock.

  8. Debbie M Says:

    One of Leah’s questions reminded me of something I’ve been trying to figure out lately, namely, how do you steer conversation away from complaining? I like a good rant as much as the next person, and sadly I also complain as much as the next person. But I don’t like that.

    Some negative things absolutely need to be discussed and handled, and some problems need venting. But I don’t want those to be the ONLY topics of conversation for hours on end. Think: complaining about work problems in a very repetitive way. Probably shouting, “You already told me that three times!” is not ideal.

    Ahem.

    Another question I thought up recently: On the topic of how cities can deal with growth, do you recommend a book or other resource that discusses studies of various approaches and the benefits and bad side affects involved? Like I know that rent control in NYC inspired people to never move and landlords to never fix anything.

    Sadly, my city keeps growing, but we still think of ourselves as a town and everyone wants their own yard. City Council is trying to develop a new city plan, but residents fear that increasing urban density will just make parking and traffic worse. Also when people are looking to build new high-density stuff, they want to start with the cheapest plots they can find–and there goes all our affordable housing. We definitely have a long history of segregating residences from stuff to do, and that leads to a reliance on cars. Anyway, I’m sure some ideas are better than others, right?

  9. Link Love | Grumpy Rumblings (of the formerly untenured) Says:

    […] you missed it, we’re still taking ask the grumpies questions for our next batch!  (You can always ask or email us at […]

  10. Leah Says:

    More ideas . . .

    – What is your favorite piece of furniture and why?
    – If you created a political party of your own, what would you name it?
    – Heard this one at a recent group I went to as an icebreaker: scar, mole, or tattoo? We were asked to talk about one of them. So, any cool stories surrounding those? Okay to skip this one if you feel like it’s too identifying!
    – What icebreakers do you like to use when getting to know a group/class?
    – What is your favorite movie?
    – In high school, what music did you enjoy?
    – What Harry Potter house are you and why?

  11. Leah Says:

    I’m on dorm duty tonight and really thinking of stuff, I guess.

    – What is your stance on facial hair? Are you ever sad that you can’t experiment with that? It seems both itchy and fascinating to me.
    – Have you seen the movie “Pursuit of Happyness”? I watched it with my students tonight. I was amazed to learn it was a true(ish?) story. Does it just break your heart?
    – What is your take on “gourmet” ice creams? Things like Salt & Straw from Portland, where they put weird combos in. My favorite from them, by the way, is arabequina olive oil. Sea salt and caramel is another example (tho that has gone mainstream. What’s your favorite “weird” flavor?

  12. First Gen American Says:

    I don’t get the deficit and printing money in general. Why is the US able to be in such enormous debt and continue to grow it without short term negatives consequences aside from servicing the debt. I just read that something like 70% of foreign countries still use USD as their reserve currency Despite President Obama adding something like 7 trillion to the deficit during his 2 terms and Trump is continuing the spending spree with tax cuts. There are a number of articles in this question and I figured as economics people you may have more of a clue.

    At some point it’s not sustainable. Does anyone even know where that cliff is? Does anyone care? Is there a real risk of economic collapse at some point?

  13. First Gen American Says:

    What are the warning signs if any of a devalued currency. It has happened in many places. From an outsiders perspective it does appear to happen seemingly overnight..


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