Dear Readers: Yep, it’s true. The wheels of justice do grind slowly.
Someone who reads this column sent me a letter he just received from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles about a ticket he got for not having the proper lettering on a commercial vehicle.
This letter, dated March 25, 2019, dismissed the ticket.
The ticket? It was issued on April 20, 1992.
“No further action is required from you on this charge,” said the letter — unless, of course, he’d like to turn it over to a newspaper so we can all have a good laugh at the state’s expense.
And he did. And we did.
The ticket would have been celebrating its 27th anniversary soon if the DMV hadn’t killed it.
My personal record, in case you are wondering, is a ticket for an improper turn that’s going on its second anniversary without being heard in court.
Dear John: For most of its history, the stock market was stable and predictable, allowing for the crash of 1929, which really should have been predictable.
The price of a given stock was mostly based on the dividend it paid vs. the interest rate available at a bank. There was risk involved with a stock, so the dividends were usually higher than interest.
Any capital gain on a stock was icing on the cake, but not the major, let alone the sole, reason for buying a stock.
Starting in the late 20th century, the situation began to be reversed.
Hardly anybody buys stocks anymore for dividend income, even in the increasingly rare cases where dividends are paid. Anticipation of increases in the stock price is the major factor now, and this could have little or nothing to do with the actual performance of the company or what banks are paying — i.e., next to nothing.
Political events and developments, both domestic and global, announcements by the Federal Reserve, actions by Congress, Trump’s tweets, etc., all impact the stock market. Natural disasters also influence stock prices.
What is anticipated (whether hoped for or feared) is as potent a factor as actual developments and events.
No wonder the stock market is so damn crazy. D.M.
Dear D.M.: I couldn’t have said it better. Thanks for writing my column for me.
Dear John: Filing for disability is seldom so simple that you can let Social Security handle it.
In some states, administrative law judges aren’t very friendly to any claim. C.H.
Dear C.H.: In my experience, it is almost impossible to get a Social Security claim approved on the first try. You need to hire a lawyer after you are turned down and take the matter to an appeal.
In New Jersey, at least, the lawyers don’t charge for this work but receive compensation if the claim is ultimately approved.