Cartoons, cartoons, cartoons.... John Crowther's Cartoon Odyssey

I think of it as The Fool's Journey. I've been asked who the "fool" is. It's me, but in the classical sense of the court jester. Only the fool was allowed to tell the king of his follies. All cartoons are available as prints or originals, framed or unframed, through my website or e-mail. For mugs, t-shirts, and other products visit my gift shop at* (be sure to include the *).

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Nose On Your Face

I have an admission to make. Despite all the talk of 401k's lately, I don't know what they are. Oh, I know they have something to do with money, and I know that they're something people acquire in the hope of having sufficient funds for a comfortable retirement, but beyond that I don't know the details. I don't have one, which is supposedly a bad thing but nowadays may be a good thing, since with the economic crisis they're disappearing like campaign promises the day after election. This is all a way of saying that even though I don't much understand the underpinnings of the crisis, it came as no surprise to me when Alan Greenspan, in his mea culpa before Congress this week, admitted that in all his years as a free-marketeer he never factored human greed in to his thinking. It's pretty terrifying when you realize that too often those with the most power miss the most obvious things.


Blogger gretchen said...

Loved your cartoon and your take on Greenspan. As for 401Ks they are employer sponsored IRAs. Where companies used to provide pensions, they now provide 401Ks which allow you to put your own money and into which the employer puts money. An emplyee can contribute up to (I think) 6% of her earnings pretax. The employer has no obligation to provide matching funds and very few match completely.

If you have enough money there's no need for you personally to have a 401k, although there are good tax reasons to invest in IRAs.

11:34 AM  
Blogger John M Crowther said...

Thanks, Gretchen, for the kind words. I have neither money nor a 401k, so I'm grateful for my Writers Guild pension and my Social Security, as long as they last. And I'm grateful for decent coffee.

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

C'mon, now!
You say you have no money, yet you have a house in LA, and a villa in Italy (an incredibly beautiful villa from what I've seen of your website).
I'm well acquainted with the real estate market in both places, and I daresay you pay more in property taxes than the average American makes in a year!

8:11 PM  
Anonymous Lee said...

The idea of 401Ks was great in theory and short on practice.

8:35 PM  
Blogger John M Crowther said...

Anon, you made my case for me.

9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry to be the one to break it to you, but if you are sitting on a net worth of millions you do not qualify as poor. Not by any stretch of the imagination. However old the car you drive is.
Poor is when husband and wife work 10 hour shifts at the local factory, trying to scrape up the money to pay for Jenny's braces and pray for the day that they can gather together the 2k to pack up the family to travel 3 states over to spend a week at WaterWorld.
Probably less than what you pay every time you jet back and forth to Italy. And how many times a year is that?
It may endear you to your targeted audience to be thought of as "just one of the guys", but your not. You're a wealthy land owner and to call yourself "poor" is an insult to those who really are struggling!
And if you are REALLY struggling, sell off a quarter acre of your villa. You probably won't even notice it's gone, and THAT will keep you going for a very long time. But you'd better act fast. Once Obama takes office the capital gins tax on that house in LA that you bought 40 years ago at 135k, but is now worth over a million, will take roughly one third. And if you die and pass the property on to your relatives, they will pay up to 50% in an inheritance tax.
There is absolutely nothing wrong in being worth what you are. You've worked hard for it, invested well and should be proud of what you've accomplished.

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Jean said...

[anonymous QUOTE] It may endear you to your targeted audience to be thought of as "just one of the guys", but YOUR not [UNQUOTE]

Ahem... that would be "you're" not "your" ;-)

3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geez... is THAT the best you can do?
An obvious typo?
How silly and how inane.

5:40 PM  
Blogger John M Crowther said...

Anon, what's all this rage about?

9:50 PM  
Anonymous Jean said...

Geez and there I was thinking I was being funny... *sigh* (((chuckles))) Time to lighten up Anon! :-D

5:27 AM  
Blogger gretchen said...

Holy frijole! Didn't mean to open a can of anonymous worms here John!

9:23 AM  

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