[FoRK] Another election year.... another bum economy

Aaron Burt aaron at bavariati.org
Wed Jun 15 10:35:40 PDT 2011


On Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 11:24:47PM -0400, Gavin Thomas Nicol wrote:
> I figure the presidency will likely swing one way or another based mostly
> on how poorly people are feeling about the economy.

Not to worry, News Corp is shouting down the economy as loudly as possible.

My wife's business (feed and organic fertilizers) usually sees a big bump
when the economy slumps, but this is the longest bump/slump they've seen.
Lord knows where the money comes from.

> ...what are folk here doing to protect investments for the coming rough
> ride?

Planning scenario:
* Petroleum prices will remain volatile and high due to speculation
  (short-term) and supply/demand (long-term).  
* High US$ inflation due to rising price of oil, and monetary policy.
* Wife will retain her job (low-paying, but she's core, and owns a
  percentage.)  I will probably be aged out of IT/engineering.
* Public infrastructure will continue to be run into the ground, but 
  mass transit and basic public services will remain.
* Economy will remain in an unplanned and unacknowledged "end of growth".
* Global warming will have a relatively low impact on our region.

We are making money (and petroleum) as irrelevant as possible.  We're
growing more and more food, and getting as much as we can from folks we
know.  We don't spend money on much else.  We don't *have* to drive
anywhere.  Our house needs minimal heating and cooling, and the furnace
runs on biodiesel anyway.

Keeping 401(k) in energy and non-US$ stuff, and expecting it to be worth
squat come cash-out time.  Might look at ways to borrow against it to
obtain useful assets or pay off school loans (which can't be discharged by
bankruptcy.)

Refinancing.  A new 15-year would have the same payments as our current
30-year, but a new 30-year has such low payments, we could cover it by
renting a room, working minimum wage, or standing on a corner with a sign.
While we have the income, we will overpay the mortgage.

If we are lucky, we might be able to buy one of a couple well-drained
2-acre plots near the city.  Then we might get *real* wacky...

Regards,
  Aaron


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