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Whither the economy? by Jack on Fri Oct 02, 2009 11:11 pm
The powers that be have coined a phrase - "green shoots". I think they've made a mistake, not only in calling a turn, but politically and emotionally.

Our problem boils down to employment. Until we start generating large numbers of stable, well-paying jobs, there is no foundation to support recovery anywhere else in the economy. Housing involves mortgages - which imply a steady income on the part of the borrower. Likewise, increased consumer spending requires a source of income. Note that such spending can no longer grow from expansion of consumer credit - the banks have increased rates, increased payment rates, and cut lines of credit.

The stock market has increased since the March lows; however, if we look back over the past century (as done in Mauldin's work, Bull's eye investing), we find that bear markets end when stocks represent excellent values. Dividends on quality companies rise to as much as 6%. PE ratios decline. None of these have happened - yet. In addition,...

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0 Comments Viewed 9764 times
Anxiety Dreams by wisconsin_cur on Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:57 pm
High School ended half of my life ago. Then and now, I was a good test taker and fair student over all. I have never been anxious about passing a test or course. I have never pulled an "all-nighter" to try to get prepared for an exam. I overslept for an exam once because I stayed up to late the night before playing Euchre. I arrived 40 minutes after the test began and politely asked to be allowed to take the exam. I got straight to work on the essays and 40 minutes later found myself to be the first person done. It was for a 300 level English History Class and I got an A on the exam.

So why is it that I am now having anxiety dreams about High School Triganomotry? I never took Trig, let alone with "Mrs. M." my high school math teacher. Yet in the dream I find myself one week before graduation remembering that I was suppose to be in that course all year but instead of attending the course I spent the time... somewhere, nowhere, in a kind of limbo of my own choosing....

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3 Comments Viewed 65654 times
Print is Dead by kpeavey on Sat Jul 11, 2009 12:01 am
Less oil=less economic activity. I don't make up the rules, I just pass them along when it is convenient for me to do so. As oil production worldwide goes into terminal decline, so must the global economy enter into terminal decline. Robust growth gives way to mediocre growth. This eases off to flat, then recession. Recession deepens to Depression. Following Depression come Regression.

Regression is what must follow a pattern of unsustainable consumption. When the non-renewable resources are consumed or are no longer economically viable in terms of production, stuff starts to run out. The cheap plastic Wal-mart bags I used to insulate my living room ceiling will become more expensive. They may even compete with brown paper bags. Does every supermarket out there go back to paper bags when plastic bags are unavailable or unaffordable? Do we go back to wooden crates or bring our own bags? The days of the cheap lightweight disposable plastic bag with a smiley face on the side will...

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3 Comments Viewed 9335 times
A trip to the library by Jack on Tue Sep 29, 2009 5:36 pm
Sometimes, mundane changes illuminate underlying reality in a way no collection of numbers can.

Today, I drove down to the public library with several boxes of old magazines. The library can sell them for a pittance and add a small sum to their funding, and it gets the magazines off my hands. It's been about a year since I went there last.

I noticed several men standing around outside. It's 11 AM on a Tuesday, and 6 men - three individuals, one group of three - are hanging out. One looked to by fortyish, the others younger - mid to late twenties. They were just standing, doing nothing in particular. The group was talking between themselves. They were dressed in the modern urban costume of athletic shoes, dark t-shirts, and casual pants.

They didn't have the defeated look of the homeless about them, nor was there any tell-tale cart of junk. Oddly, they weren't inside the library, which had seating and other amenities. No, they were just watching the comings and goings. I was...

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1 Comment Viewed 11532 times
My new home blog by strider3700 on Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:25 pm
I've decided to start a blog here with the intention of treating it more like a diary of changes to my new home rather then spread things out through multiple threads in the planning/prep forum.

The basics of my new home is it's a typical "BC box" 2400 sqft 2 story 5 bedroom(3 up 2 down) 2 bath (1 up 1 down). Fireplace upstairs woodstove down but the primary heat is an almost new heat pump. It's pure suburbia, right in the middle of town minutes from the hospital, schools, groceries, parks,... your typical middle of town. It's very very walkable unlike the current home which is a 10 minute drive to the nearest gas station, 15 minutes to anything else. As with most suburbia homes the lot is small by my standards. .17 of an acre, roughly split 50/50 front yard back yard. The good news is it faces almost exactly south with a minor slope towards the front so it gets great solar exposure unlike my current place on the north side of a hill.

So the basic plan is your...

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2 Comments Viewed 8339 times

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