[FoRK] Uncle Alan: Deficit must be reduced, we need Social Security cuts

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Thu Feb 26 03:29:38 PST 2004

On Wed, Feb 25, 2004 at 10:03:06PM -0600, paul wrote:

> I'm absolutely not a financial expert much beyond balancing my checkbook.  But
> I have the feeling we are heading towards something that will make the Great
> Depression look like the early eighties.
> Just a gut feeling.

I wouldn't put it into such stark terms -- technology can buffer a lot. 

I agree with your gut feeling that some hard times are coming, though. God
knows our (EU's, that is) structural troubles run deep, and NA isn't trailing
all that far behind.

Assuming, the global investors collectively call the bluff on our (our
leaders who're supposed to represent our interests, more precisely) fiscal
irresponsibility, and EU and NA plus Japan take the dive into the deep depression
crapper. Will they pull Asia along with them? It appears possible.

Which impact will this have on the end user, you and me here? Poland has 40%
unemployment rates. I could see it happen to most of the EU, before very long.
> The powers that be are playing with numbers too large for me to understand.
> And I don't think they have much of a clue either.  Not that they are playing
> with their personal money.... and they have a printing press.

Notice that all the major players can easily afford to winter out the storm
somewhere warm and remote (saves on security). 
> Hey, so what are you paying on credit cards?  And how much interest is your

I avoid to use them. My personal debt (a pretty small one) is on living

> bank paying on your savings account?  On my latest statement, Frost Bank is
> giving me all of 0.15% interest on my savings account.  I remember 6%
> interest.  You know, once upon a time you could stuff a few grand into savings
> and over 20 years it would actually grow with 6% interest.  .15%?  WTF?  After
> the IRS claims its share, why bother?  Might as well just save the cash as
> coin and bury it in the back yard.

Might not be that a dumb idea, if it's platium group metal (Rh, Pd, Pt). But,
I'd invest in real estate (if I had anything to invest).
> I hope to have the land paid off (25 acres) before the crash.   It's not much

Is it a good idea to deepen one's debt, shortly before a recession? One can
pay it off in funny money -- assuming one still has a job, that is.

Some of my nuttier solar ideas were based on reducing energy costs (heating
is the bulk of costs in our neck of the wood), to reduce total living costs.
Just in case the going goes rough.

> land, but it is enough for family to live on and off of, hopefully enough to
> eat better than what my dad says about when he was a kid before WW2.  Lord
> knows we got enough raccoons to eat.
> Hell, I hate to sound like a survivalist...  but.

We need a major technological advance pulled out of the hat, quick.
Neither nanotechnology nor production automation (to go along with a
semisocialist wealth redistribution -- which is only sustainable with
collapsed cost gradients across the globe) will seem to arrive on time.

Yeah, we're having problems. Can any resident optimist produce a somewhat
sunnier outlook?

-- Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a>
ICBM: 48.07078, 11.61144            http://www.leitl.org
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http://moleculardevices.org         http://nanomachines.net
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