The Big Think

October 28, 2009

Debt Nation

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 1:37 pm

“What destroys individuals, ruins families, and fells nations is debt—or rather the inability to service debt, and the cultural ramifications that follow. When farming, I used to see the futility in haggling over diesel prices, trying to buy fertilizer in bulk, or using used vineyard wire—when each day we were paying hundreds in dollars in interest on a “cut-rate” 14% crop loan…

Once the conservative Bush people started talking about trillions in debt in terms of percentages of GDP rather than of real money, I feared we were done for: if a so-called conservative is doing this, I thought, what will the liberal Congress do when it gets back in power?”

via

Our nation is up to its eyeballs in debt, and its being run by people (on both sides) who have seemingly never had to deal with not having enough. Gas and food prices double? When you’re a multimillionaire congressperson, going from $2000 a year in fuel prices to $4000 is a drop in the bucket. For the average family, though, it can be the difference between eating well and not eating at all. For business owners, the prospect of higher interest rates means less borrowing to expand operations (assuming a growing customer base), or worst of all: not hiring an additional body. Then the cycle intensifies because jobs go unfilled or uncreated.

We’re planning on 10-15% interest rates over the next five to ten years (part of the reason the new truck was purchased now at only 3.6% interest). We also plan on keeping zero debt outside of our mortgage (which is locked in at a reasonable rate anyway). We’ll still get stung by higher retail prices, but at least we won’t suffer from 1970’s style interest rates that suck away money we could use for necessities.

I’m not a financial planner, but the advice to carry no consumer debt and save as much as possible is good in any market.

Raptor

Filed under: Business — jasony @ 10:26 am

F-22 Raptor makes it European debut and floors the crowd with its capability. What an amazing aircraft. Video here. Unfortunately, this will never see the battlefield as the completed aircraft was canceled just as it was almost ready for deployment (and after all the money was spent on R&D).

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