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I‘ve relocated to our 50th state for the holidays, which is something I’ve dreamed of doing for years.
God has a great sense of humor.
Actually, here at sea level on the Big Island, it’s a pleasant 70 degrees this morning in Kona with a steady rain.
But on top of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, two volcanoes reaching up more than 13,000 feet above sea level, the Weather Service is predicting blizzard conditions with 100 mph winds.
So far this morning, the live cameras up at the Mauna Kea Observatory show weather that’s more sleety than snowy.
So it’s a good day to hunker down and write.
I have some great Wells $treet stories coming this month, including one about the serious problem of space junk, and another crazy story about a former Marine who helped his Afghan translator escape the Taliban this summer with the aid of cryptocurrency.
Today, though, I thought I’d shoot out a couple of quick notes and links.
If you’re seeing sticker shock shopping for a Christmas tree, one reason is there’s a shortage of Douglas firs coming out of Oregon and Washington (the only places where those Christmas trees are grown). There was an unprecedented heat wave last June which burnt some trees, making them unsellable. More concerning, however, is that an estimated 70% of the seedling crop for Christmas 2029 has been destroyed.
Farmers are harvesting some trees early and will continue to “blend vintages” over the next several years to produce a crop. But overall, there will be fewer trees, meaning higher prices. That’s on top of higher labor and transportation costs.
One tree grower told me he sold trees for $6 a foot last year. This year it’s $7, or nearly $50 wholesale for a seven-foot tree. Retail prices are at least twice that. For the first time ever, Oregon tree farmers told me they received government aid. (Hey, everyone else is!)
I reported this for CNBC’s “The News with Shepard Smith,” and my favorite part of the story was trying to keep up with these guys as they worked their tushes off during the busiest week of the year.
Also, I came up with “Oh, Tannenbummer!” You’re welcome.
”Yes, poor people spend more of their budget on things whose prices are rising, but thanks to the extra income support they got since the pandemic started, today they also have more money to spend than they did before.”
However, he argues that people hate the idea of inflation, and President Biden may pay a high price for it (see what I did there?).
Lots of good data and logic in this column. We need more data and logic.
Finally, if you’ve been reading Wells $treet, you know I’ve become interested in finding mentors who advise people on how to negotiate, especially women.
In the article, she reinforces something I’ve mentioned before: don’t suggest a salary; let the company make the first offer. Mandi even provides scripts for exactly what to say:
“I’d love to hear more about the role and expectations before discussing compensation. Can we revisit this conversation after I’ve had a chance to speak with the team and determine whether I’m a good fit?”
She also suggested you start learning to negotiate now with little things, in order to become more confident and natural at it.
”For example, ask your landlord to shave $100 off the rent price before renewing your lease. If a restaurant gets your order wrong at dinner, ask the server to send it back or take the item off the bill. Making these tiny requests helped me build confidence and break away from my people-pleasing tendencies.”
Now, who do I talk to about some kind of refund because Hawaii is under a blizzard warning?