“The Wealth of Nations”

.rachel’s grasp on the more complex things of life II.

I am not so bright nor so very dumb. That being said, I cannot decide the best opinion to adopt concerning the present economic situation in our country.

From all accounts, it sounds bad. For the first time in my life, I can see first-hand a few of the effects of a really bad economy. I know that there are a lot of other adverse consequences that I am not experiencing.

I have concerns about the past decisions which led us to this point, and I have great concerns about the decisions that are being made to get us out of this position (to put my general opinion succinctly, FDR’s economic policies are some of my least favorite made by a president). It it’s true that most of the current problem is because the government forced banks to lend to people, that’s just more fodder to my argument that the government should stay out of the free market. Yes, I like John Stossel.

But then again, economies always go up and down.

So how bad is it? Practically, what, if anything, is this crushing amount of debt going to do to our country in a few years? If we’ve carried all right with this much debt so far, won’t we be able to manage however we have up ’til now? Some of the most bleary predictors talk about an economic collapse. Even if that happens, I don’t know what will actually happen to normal people. A few months ago, I heard that Iceland’s economy was completely wrecked, but I haven’t heard any terrible news of people fleeing the country to be able to buy bread.

That much debt can’t be good, though. Can someone explain to me how the country can function even now with such a huge amount of debt? And if it can function, how can more debt hamper progress?

None of my friends are sitting around talking about this. I’m probably the most vocal of my peers. When I was enumerating to a friend the travesty of all the pork-barrel spending hidden in President Obama’s stimulus bill, to placate me, he replied blasély. “What an outrage.”

So maybe, even if it gets bad, it won’t be very bad experientially. In any case, I know it’s not my my prerogative to worry, and the world certainly is not going to end until Jesus makes his second appearance.

I’ve decided this much:

–   Be daily grateful for my two jobs

–   Keep immediately siphoning off ten percent of my paychecks to save

–   Learn more about investing and start to do it

–   Keep honing my budget, disciplining myself to stay within it, and finding ways to save more

–   Read something like Freakonomics, Investing for Dummies, or  An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, and reread Whatever Happened to Penny Candy?

Finally, my favorite plan: If things get really bad, move to a developing country and start a small business.

My money will go further and people there are used to a lower standard of living, so adjustments will be easier, rather than American who lives it up and will have farther to fall.


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Filed under complex things, Opinions, Philosophical, politics

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