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Kevin's Thoughts!

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Captain and the Kings by Taylor Caldwell

This 1972 book is a “must read” for anyone interested in understanding the concept around a “New World Order”.

Its long, at 816 pages, and drags a bit in the middle, but its message hits home.

Although fictional, with echos of the JFK story, it remains eerie, and frightening from a Geo-political standpoint if its even remotely true – and I suspect there is more truth in it than most would care to admit, much less think about.

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Rent vs. Buy vs. Buy Bigger

Posted by Kevin on March 17, 2013
Posted in Money  | No Comments yet, please leave one

Found myself questioning the standard statement “You house is your biggest investment” last night.  Got up this morning and created a spreadsheet to see if its really true:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6QsMeiFWK7oTDVoVjhNZ0t2OU0/edit?usp=sharing

Lets start with a basic definition from http://www.dictionary.com:

in·vest·ment

[in-vest-muhnt]

noun

1. the investing of money or capital in order to gain profitable returns, as interest, income, or appreciation in value.

The key here is that an investment is suppose to MAKE YOU MONEY, not COST YOU MONEY.  The spreadsheet up in Google Docs shows how a house will cost you money… you can play with the parameters and come up with your own conclusions.  Note the spreadsheet does not take into effect things like the Home Mortgage Tax credit those of us who itemize can currently get (and which is under review to be eliminated).  That tax credit simply impacts how much a house cost you, not that it does.

OK – so what does this show:

Tab 1, Rent vs Buy, shows that owning a home is somewhat cheaper than renting a home.  It presumes you have the fortitude to put your down payment into the stock market and let it sit for 30 years.  If you don’t, renting is a lot more expensive, even after taxes, insurance, repairs, etc.  That makes sense.  The people owning the house have to make a profit to stay in business.

Tab 2, Buy vs Buy Bigger, shows just how bad of an “investment” a house is.  Its an Expense, not an investment, and the bigger the house the greater the Expense.  This tab compares a moderate home with one that cost $100,000 more and shows what would happen if you simply put the difference in down payment ($20,000) into the stock market for 30 years.  Net result, your HALF A MILLION dollars better off living in the smaller house for those 30 years due to stock market investment returns, lower taxes, lower repairs, lower insurance, etc.

So why the push to buy mini-mansions?  I’d venture to say that is being driven by the banks wanting to make more money, the government wanting to stimulate consumerism and collect higher taxes, and peoples nature desire to live-for-the-day in as much luxury as they can afford.

Have fun with the spreadsheet and let me know what you think.

Kevin

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The basics of personal finance

Posted by Kevin on March 16, 2013
Posted in Money  | No Comments yet, please leave one

The basics of personal finance are really VERY simple and have been well documented since Babylonian times:  Earn 10 dinars and spend 9 and you will be wealthy.  Spend 10 (or 11) and you will be poor.  Its really that easy – live within your means and you will be fine.

Honestly, that 10% savings rate represented by earning 10 dinars and only spending 9 is also basic, solid, advise.  You WILL need more money than you earn someday, and/or you will want something you can pay cash for instead of borrowing for.

Alas, beyond that, its gets much more complicated.  I can provide a few tidbits:

1)  Ignore “the Jones” – advertisers get paid HUGE dollars to make you think you need things you don’t – be it special shoes or purses to mini-mansions.  Cars are the largest, next to homes, target:  Simply remember this – ALL cars are Expenses, not Investments.  I once had a friend tell me BMW’s were investments because they held their value better.  That friend needs a lesson in personal finance – anything that loses value is NOT an investments – investments are suppose to MAKE money, not lose it.  That said, in my hayday, I owned a BMW Z3 (bought used) – it was a great car when I was single.  Loved that car.  Lots of fun.  But I knew it was an expense.  Actually turned into a reasonably priced way to get around – Oil changes were $69 at the dealer, but only needed to be done every 15,000 miles, which matched the cost of Jiffy Lube for “once every 5000″ mile vehicles.  Brakes however were a killer – about $2000 every 50,000 miles or so.  Tires were not cheap either – also about $2000 a set every 50,000 miles.  And don’t even THINK about driving it in the snow.  But hey, convertables are a blast…  consider one an every-day entertainment expense – great if you can afford it.

2)  ALWAYS pay off your credit cards every month.  NO EXPECTIONS!!!  There is no faster mainstream way to piss away money than giving it to credit card companies.  If you can’t pay it off, you A) are likely living beyond your means and/or B) Are not saving 10% of your income.  Emergencies happen – cars break down, water heaters need replacing.  Emergencies are not “but there is a sale at Macys!”.  Related:  Never pay for a credit card.  Oh… but you get POINTS on SouthWest Airlines if you use their credit card… and you pay what?  $79/year for that privlege?  Suspect you could get a lot more points just flying to Florida or someone cheap once a year – or better yet, forget the points and pocket the cash!

3)  If you are unfailing at #2, never use a debit card.  Find a credit card that pays cash back, NOT POINTS, and enjoy the bonus every year or so.  Visa has free cards that pay 1% cash back, and if you sign up every quarter, 5% cash back on things like gas (typically 2 out of every 4 quarters).  5% cash back on gas is HUGE – your going to buy it anyhow, if the pump says $3, know your paying $2.85…  BP use to have a great card that did just that, but they changed it to some “cash back at the pump” scheme that really pays you less than 1% now.  Only kicker on cash back is that its not instant – get over it.  Most allow you to collect anytime you have $20 or so in credits.  ALWAYS take the cash, don’t use your points to buy overpriced junk merchandise on their website.

4) It use to be considered a fact that a house would be your largest and best investment.  Anyone who has owned a house since, oh, 2006 would beg to differ with you.  Elsewhere on this blog you will have read about our rental home business (Evia and I own 6 “starter home” class single family homes.  I bought them all around 10-15% below then market value.  None are worth what I paid for them today, but their mortages are still based on purchase price).  Recognize that even if you own a home, paid for, without a mortage – you really don’t.  Don’t believe me?  Try not paying your property taxes for 3 years and see if you still own that home… You rent it from the government.  So:

5)  To own or rent?  Owning a moderate home is comforting.  With luck, you can pay it off fairly quickly and not pay the banks 2-3+ times the cost in interest payments.  Go to sites like http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/managing-debt/annual-percentage-rate-calculator.aspx and play with the numbers.  A $100,000 loan at 5% for 30 years cost you $193,255.78.  Think of what you could do with that $93,255.78 if you had paid cash, or some serious fraction of that if you had bought less house than you could afford and paid if off quickly.  Rates are low now, but still well above inflation, and inflation is all you should hope your income will raise by – shy of you increasing your worth to your employer or a very unexpected shortage of workers.  Homes are expensive – expect to pay about a 1/3rd of your mortage in taxes and insurance – something with no intrinsic value.  The more expensive the house – the higher the taxes and insurance.  Then there are the water heaters, and AC repairs, and siding repairs – not to mention yard care.   If you rent, you still have that yard care, but not much else to worry about – other than the landlord raising your rent – and market pressures prevent that.  If your fiscally solvent (e.g. you have been saving that 10%), and the landlord wants to charge you to much – you can always go out and buy something.  In the meantime, at least for a year at a stretch, you know what it will cost for the roof over your head.

6)  You biggest expense catagory in life isn’t what you likely think.  Its not your house or car payment, its TAXES!  They tax you when you earn it, they tax you when you save it and earn on that, they tax you when you spend it, they tax you after you spend it (Personal Property tax for cars, real estate taxes for homes), they tax you for your future (Social Security), they tax you for your future medical needs (Medicare) – and thats just the Feds.  Then the state does the same thing, and the local community does it again.  Yes, governments need taxes to pay for essential services, but they waste it horribly as well (Remember Bush saying that Desert Shield was going to cost $50B?  That regional war that never seems to end is approaching $2T now – a meer miscalculation of 40X).  Think about $2T and realize we have about 300M people in the USA.  Cut out half for children and the elderly, and another half for single family wage earners, etc. – so about 75M taxpayers.  That war effort therefore cost each family about $26,666… for each and every family in the USA.  OK, this is sliding into politics, so I won’t rant on that anymore.

7)  Financial bleeding to death:  Inflation.  Nothing is more evil, except perhaps for taxes.  Its incideous and eats away at your savings every minute of every day nostop.  Remember the “Rule of 72″:  When years*inflation rate = 72 your money’s real value is cut in half (This is sometimes called the Rule of 70 or the Rule of 69 – they are all close enough for ballpark math and vary based on how often the compounding happens.  For continuous compounding, like inflation, the Rule of 69 is probably more accurate, but I’ll go with the more commonly used Rule of 72).  So, in the 70s, and again in the 80s, when inflation was around 12%, every 6 years the value of money halved.  See:  http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/inflation/historical-inflation-rates/ for a nice table of historical rates.  Right now (spring of 2013) we are hovering around 2% – but banks are paying less than 1% on CDs and money market accounts (and as little at 0.01% on savings – $1 a year on a $10,000 deposit!).  Beware rates advertised that are higher than that – there is usually a catch, like requiring a $10/month checking account or having a cap on how much you can save and earn that rate.  Bottom line:  Money placed in banks is losing value.  Save that 10% and you more than compensate, but don’t be fooled into thinking your MAKING value – your just losing it slower than if you stuffed your mattress with cash.

8)  The stock market is legalized gambling.  Do your research, and realizing that if you make more than “the market” you just got lucky.  Highly suggesting reading the Vanguard site.  Seriously SERIOUSLY think about no-load mutual funds but don’t invest until you understand why.  Compare 20+ year historys for alternatives.  Realize that every year 90% of the mutual funds out there, and espeically those you pay loads on, do not do as well as the market.  Compound that with the knowleged that who makes up that 90% shifts every year.  Sure XYZ stocks may be hot – but by the time you read about that, its probably too late.  “The Market” itself is what I pretty much think of as the real inflation rate – not the number the government publishes.  So to protect your value, it probably needs to go into the stock market – but only for long term value.  The great recession should be all the proof you need of that.  Don’t plan on getting rich there – just be happy if you get lucky, and hope you counter inflation.  KNOW BEYOND ANY DOUBT that there is no such thing as a “Hot Stock” – your ability to discover it, buy it low, and sell it high, as an individual is about as likely as stricking it rich by investing in lottery tickets.  There are a lot of professionals, with multi-million dollar computer programs crunching numbers, looking for those “Hot Stock”s.  You can’t compete with them and your a fool if you think you can.  So buy the market and hope we don’t have another global depression.

9)  Easy money:  Buy low, sell high.  Its that simple.  Its also incredibly hard to time right.  Something called “income averaging” helps.  Say you want to invest in some mutual fund but don’t know when to do so.  DO NOT drop all your savings in day 1.  If you have something like $10,000 in savings, invest $1000/month.  If the mutual fund value is low, your $1000 will buy more shares.  If the mutual fund value is high, your $1000 will buy less.  Over time, its rather self correcting towards giving you the best value.  Of course, if your lucky, and you invest all $10,000 when its low, your golden.   If you do this with something like silver, which has historically varied ALL OVER the place, like from $5 to $50 an ounce and back again, and you have the fortitude of a 200 year oak tree, set a max price and only income average invest when its below that.  Maybe that is $25 an ounce.  If its $25 an ounce or less you buy $500 worth every other month.  When people go nuts buying silver and it jumps to $35 or $50, you just hold off firm in the belief it will come back down.  If silver falls to $5 ounce, you still have 20% of your value – double what you would have had if you continued to buy all the way up to $50.  Oh, on silver – buy 0.999 rounds or bars.  Period.  Screw 90% silver coins or “investment” grade collectables – they vary from meerly being overpriced to being total ripoffs.  If your buying metal, buy the friggen metal, not some highly marketed “better” (per the marketing company that is profiting) version of the metal.  Also know how to do the math, or at least how to have Google do it for you.  Don’t get confused with grains vs. grams for instance.  And please, PLEASE, don’t buy silver or gold jewelery as investments.  Oh, reminds me of my favorite marketing gimmick:  “Buy your finance an INVESTMENT grade Diamond to tell her you love her.”  What?  She is going to sell it someday?  If she does, was it really a good investment for you?  Diamonds are nice.  Find one you like the looks of and go for it, but realize its jewelry, not an investment.  e.g.  The the flaws require a 10X loop to see, who is going to see it besides your jeweler?  (Oh, other side note discovered long ago:  There is a HUGE (like 10X) markup on diamonds.  What you pay $1000 for would wholesale for perhaps $100.  Sure, if you want to insure it you should for $1000, since that is its replacement value.  But if you need cash, and you think you will get $1000 for that diamond, you are going to have a very unpleasant surprise when you try and sell it.  Some jewelers will even guarentee you your purchase price if you want to trade up later.  Note the “up” part of that – ask them if you can trade down and pocket the cash and see their reaction.)

10)  Risk vs. reward:  This is the classic balance.  Want safe (well, at least reasonably?)  Earn 1% in a money market account (much better than any bank savings or checking accounts so long as you don’t access it more than a few times a month.  I use ours to feed out checking account – deposits going into the money market, and once or twice a month I take out living expenses and move into checking where all the activity occurs – its trivial with todays modern online banking tools.  Short form – the bulk of my cash sits in a higher paying account.  I leave a small amount, like $500, in a bank savings account that my ATM card can access for emergency cash.)  Want a great reward, invest in pork futures – and realize you might lose everything if you can’t back your options.  The options in between are numerous and varied such as the stock market.  Over 50 years, it has exceeded the inflation rate the government publishes (but some claim its growth rate is the real inflation rate since it relflects a large chunk of the countries money supply), but either way has exceeded bank savings rates.  On the flip side, although the DOW is back to where it was 7 years ago, it would have been a tough 7 years if you depended on that money to pay your medical bills, and tapping into it during the lull would have been the opposite of “buy low, sell high”.

11)  What to do – Kevin’s approach:  I’ve coming to believe the only way to truly accumulate weath that taxes and inflation won’t destroy, or to at least have a fighting chance at that (since taxes can always be used by corrupt governments to destroy anyone they want to), is to invest in hard assets – things that won’t go away.  Examples include gold and silver (risky since they could be make illegal, and the prices swing a lot), land (they are not making any more), and solidly constructed homes that should last generations (think 12″ log homes, stone homes, concrete homes, maybe post&beam – NOT stick homes which have about a 50 year lifetime.  Go look at 200+ year homes and see how few are around.  None were built with 2x4s and drywall).  Alas, you will still need to pay taxes, and for that I’m gambling:  I have some in hopefully solid dividend yielding stocks (where I get a check even if the stock price goes down), some TIPS funds, some mutual funds.  I do have one professionally managed IRA (my former employers 401K funds) which did better than the market during the down time, but not so hot since.  Seriously thinking of switching that to a no-load mutual and be done with it.  Last words on investments:  take to heart two classic sayings 1)  Past performance may not reflect future earnings, and 2) Hindsight is 20/20.  It easy to look back and show what should have been done, and even create fancy mathematic models that match that, but its incredibly hard to project that forward with any sense of certainty.

Hope you found some of this rambling useful,

Kevin

 

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Over the past few decades, but especially the past few years, I’ve read a lot of books on why things are going downhill. Several of those are mentioned elsewhere in the book section of this Blog. However, only ONE man has offered a well thought out, if contrarian, solution to this problem: Wendel Berry.

If you only read one book from all of them listed on this blog, please beg, borrow, or buy and READ this one. I don’t normally post the full Amazon “Buy now” link, but for this book I think its worth it. The book is not expensive, and not the least bit laborious to read cover to cover.

Basically, Wendel details why we MUST return to sustainable small-scale farming and how that will  both invigorate the rural economy an led us back to locally produced food for our cities.  One example concept is “acres per eyes”: If a man is plowing a field of 10 acres with a small tractor and sees a 1/2 acre of ground that is too wet – ground which if plowed would be compacted and damaged – he will go around it and perhaps plow it when conditions are better. If a man is contracted to sit on a 250 HP tractor and plow a 1000 acres, he is never even going to see that 1/2 acre. Even if he did, he was hired to plow and plow he will.  That year, one small piece of ground is damage, year after year more and more ground is likewise damaged.

I’m not doing the book justice with that example. Please find a copy and read it for yourself. I simply can not recommend it highly enough.

Kevin

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Buy land…

Posted by Kevin on August 22, 2011
Posted in EconomyFarm & PrairieLife in General  | Tagged With: , , , | No Comments yet, please leave one

Buy land...

/* Originally posted on June 22nd, 2010 */

I think the future definition of wealth will be based on what ones physically owns, not numbers in computers. The wealthy will have nice homes on large farms (hundreds of acres, but not thousands unless your talking sparse Texas range ranches).

Family and community will become much more important as interdependancies grow. People may actually become nicer to each other since pissing someone off may prevent them from helping you someday when you need it.

People will become valued for the services and products they can produce locally, and exchange locally for things they need.

Too that end, we have bought the 121 acre farm mentioned extensively elsewhere in this system. I’m trying to establish it as the traditional old-time family farm and fully expect it to be complete with cows (done), chickens, perhaps some pigs and/or goats, etc. We have planted enough fruit trees to actually significantly suppliment our diet and continue to plant more. We have bee hives for honey and have found honey works pretty darn well as a sugar replacement (duh!).

We still need to build the real house out there, although what we have would suffice in an emergency (say the collapse occurs in 18 months instead of the 5-10 years I’m hoping for).

I’d like to add a 10,000 gallon rainwater cistern, and get enough solar/wind power together to at least keep a freezer and refridgerator working. CFL lighting requires a trivial amount of relative power, as does a few ceiling fans for comfort.

All it takes is time and money.

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Short Term Emergency Power

– Jun 22, 2010 –

For the short term, buy a diesel generator for the farm (see farm posts). Since people like to eat, I could see farmers getting a fairly big share of any rationed diesel.

For the long term: commercially built solar electric with home build wind power.

Why home built wind? Unlike a solar panel, wind systems have a lot of moving parts. That means they will break. One needs the ability to fix them without a dependance on parts or custom molds that only exist in other parts of the world.

I think draft horses will make a big comeback in rural areas. An hour ride into town (10 miles?) is very acceptible. At the slow speeds, our roads will hold up for a long time too.

– Jun 28, 2010 –

A generator of some type is probably my next major investment. We own a 5KW gas unit which I’ll be taking up to the farm soon – but thats good for tens of hours only (it will run for about 8 hours on 5 gallons of gas).

I’ve been looking at larger units, in the 25KW range, that could pretty much run the house. A tractor PTO unit is one of the cheaper ways to go – but after reading one of the owners manual, I’m pretty sure I’m not thrilled with the concept of shutting everything down every 8 hours to grease the PTO shaft. Voltage is likely to fluctuate a fair amount as load does unless someone is monitoring it full time.

Standalone diesel is an option, but much more expensive. Still, if people want to eat, they will make diesel available to the farmers, so the raw fuel is likely to be available.

Most of the units I’m seeing are propane/LP based. I suppose I could get a large tank and use that. The biggest electrical loads in my house (based on breaker current) is the Range, the Water Heater, and the GSHP. If I had propane anyhow, I could put a gas range and water heater in to keep the supplier comfortable. Suspect such a tank would run a generator for weeks if not longer. The range and water heater are really optional loads anyhow. The GSHP, at 30amps, is pretty light duty honestly (unless, of course, you don’t have those 30 amps).

Lots to think about.

Long term, one needs a hybrid solar/wind system, but thats another post.

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GMO for Biomass?

Posted by Kevin on August 22, 2011
Posted in EnergyFarm & Prairie  | Tagged With: , , , | No Comments yet, please leave one

GMO for Biomass?

/* Originally posted on December 14th, 2009 */

1) Do we want to optimize growth for harvestable biomass? If so, GMO may
help.

2) Do we want to optimize growth for carbon sequestering in the root
system? If so, then THIS branch of GMO research may not help, but others
could.

3) Do we want to mono-crop biomass to optimize productivity of a single
species? I believe that to be THE key question.

Most of modern agriculture is designed around mono-cropping and driving
towards maximum yields for that crop. Our equipment is tuned for it, our
mindsets are fixed on it. I think we all are a bit guilty. Who hasn’t
looked at a recently hayed field and think “Isn’t that pretty!” – it looks
like a big lawn! How many of us see that field and think “OMG – that’s a
wildlife disaster!”???

As long as we are in a mono-crop/use artificial fertilizers to replace the
nutrients we harvest/maximize production and economic yield mindset,
things like GMO are going to have a play. The use of GMO to tweak
fermentablility of corn is proof of that: monocropped, specific target
usage, premium price for farmers, ethanol craze – you bet there was
acceptance of GMO “highly fermentable” corn seed. Of course, you have to
buy that seed every year, so there was economic incentive for the bio-tech
companies to create the seed in the first place.

When we talk about using Prairie fields for bio-mass we have a couple of
problems.

First, its bio-diverse. That means our equipment isn’t as well
suited to harvest it as a highly tuned mono-culture tool would be.

Second, its bio-diverse. That means that some species are likely to be at
their prime for harvesting and fermentation at different times than other
species.

Third, its bio-diverse. That means that any fixed harvesting schedule is
going to favor some species over others, eventually changing the mix in
the fields, which would require retuning our processes. People don’t like
such variability.

Fourth, its bio-diverse and those raising it are
wildlife conservation oriented. That means that optimal harvest type and
techniques may well be in conflict with wildlife goals. Think GRP – you
can’t harvest until July 15th, but most hay grass peaks in
nutrition in June. July hay is still good (I have many, many bales of
it!), but its not as good as June hay (lower protein content, less
digestibility, etc.).

Fifth, its not sustainable. You can’t remove plant
mass and the associated nutrients on a regular basis without replacing
those elements not associated with rain and air. Every good farmer knows
you want to bring hay to your fields for your cows to eat, not sell it to
your neighbor. The first improves your fields, the second, however
slightly per year, degrades it.

So what to do? Two options occur to me:

1) Create a sustainable program where items like mulch are added to fields
on a regular basis to replace nutrients removed as bio-mass. NPR ran a
report on that option, as part of mulching to sequester carbon and
generate revenue (some industries would pay to dispose of their waste, our
mulch, on our fields), last week. This would be key. Perhaps it could
even be closed cycle, with the fermenting plants returning their waste
material to the farmer (which I think they currently sell as cattle
feed?). In any case, some source of nutrients would be required, and
would have to be provided in a balance with nutrient removal for
sustainability. That’s just simple chemistry.

2) Shift from Biomass generation to meat generation. The trick here is
providing equal grazing pressure to avoid the cattle favoring one species
over another. Management Intensive Grazing would do that… but as the
name implies, is manpower intensive. Supplemental mineral blocks and the
like would go a long way to replacing the nutrients taken off the land
when the cattle are sold. Again, recycling the cattle waste, in the form
of bone-meal and similar products, would be required to make this practice
sustainable.

I do believe sustainability is the key: having a system in place where all
material going out is balanced with new material being added back into our
environments. The good news is that the primary elements – CO2, water,
sunshine, even some nitrogen (bacterial nitrogen fixation and compliments
of lightening storms), come to us for free. The rest (trace elements,
phosphates, calcium, potash, etc.) needs to be balanced or eventually our
fields will fail.

Currently there is a grant proposal pending that will form the Nature
Friendly Meat Producers Organization if approved. It is my hope, as board
president of that organization, to consume some of its energy addressing
this issue as well as its primary goal of creating a value add marketing
label.

Please share your thoughts!

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Its the 11th hour…

Posted by Kevin on August 22, 2011
Posted in Energy  | Tagged With: , | No Comments yet, please leave one

Its the 11th hour...

/* Originally posted in November, 2009 – but still very relevant */

Highly suggest anyone reading this watch the videos at:

http://blog.green-life-innovators.org/2009/11/07/the-brutal-end-of-the-growth-paradigm/

I’ve had the concerns reflected in these videos for 30+ years and suspect its really 11:59pm (the meaning of that will become clear when you watch the videos). Its not good news, but that doesn’t mean its not real.

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On Consumerism and the American Way

Posted by Kevin on August 22, 2011
Posted in Economy  | Tagged With: , , | No Comments yet, please leave one

On Consumerism and the American Way

/*  Originally posted on November 14th, 2008, but I still agree! */

Somehow, I think we Americans took a wrong turn many decades ago. Its my understanding that near the end of the Great Depression, we were encouraged by the politicians of the time to go out and buy something to spur the economy. It worked! However, back then, most things we bought were American made and therefore the money circulated within our own economy. Over the years, the percentage of our economy that has been based on consumerism has grown, and the percentage of products we purchase that are American made has shrunk (just try and find non-food staples that are Made-In-America these days).

This just seems wrong. Consumerism should be the fruit of our labors, not the most significant economic factor. We need to get back to making things, producing, and using that income to buy things.

Of course, having a balanced budget, and making payments towards retiring our national debt (now over $28,000 per man, woman, and child), are priorities closely related to shifting the balance of our labors.

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Flat Tax

Posted by Kevin on August 22, 2011
Posted in Economy BooksUS/World Politics  | Tagged With: | No Comments yet, please leave one

Flat Tax

– Originally written on Jan 6, 2008, but I still feel this way! –

Hi… I’m a contributing Ron Paul supporter, and just wanted to express my wish that Ron, and the other candidates, would consider a Steve Forbes like Flat Tax as a transition tool to eliminating the Federal Income Tax.

As Steve points out in his book, eliminating the Federal Income Tax will require eliminating the constitutional amendment that authorizes it. An REAL Alternative Tax, call it a Flat Tax Option, would allow that process to be bypassed until it became a moot issue. Ron could actively use such a tool, perhaps setting it to Steve’s recommended 17%, and then policy-by-policy reduce it whenever the size of the government shrank. Imagine the positive support knocking a point or two off that rate every so often would bring! And the absolute joy when it reached ZERO.

Thanks for listening,

Kevin

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