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Tom Coburn is a Big Fat Jerk


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Sunday, January 23, 2005

Reality based economics

It appears interest rates will likely rise in the near future, as rumor has it the economists have finally knocked some sense into Bush. At least on this issue. Maybe.

Stephen Roach has been harping on this and related issues for months now, and for good reason. Many Americans are blissfully ignorant of the perils of the current economic landscape. This ignorance has been cultivated by the administration, which has encouraged consumerism and kept interest rates low enough that anyone --- even people who aren't in any position to do so by any stretch of the imagination --- anyone can purchase a ten room McMansion and two new cars, and fill them both with more worthless doodads than you can shake a stick at. Cell phones for every member of the family, each with a different number, lunch and dinner every day at the latest chic cafes and restaurants, whatever.

I'll admit I shared that ignorance for a short time, but lost enough quickly enough that I was slamdunked into economic paranoia just in time. Since then --- and it's been a while --- I've studiously pinched every penny and avoided the stock market like the plague. I've also made more money as a result than those who've trusted Our Fearless Leader's Bushonomic Policy. Not a lot, mind you. But enough that, should interest rates rise, I'll be in great shape. Unlike those I know who've trusted 401s, Bush and The Real Estate Market.

I've also done it making the equivalent of far less than minimum wage, if you count actual hours worked. I mean, I AM a teacher in one of the lowest paying states, even at college level. And I pay my own health insurance. But I'm doing better than many people I know making $100K and more a year.

And I'm doing better than them because I've been working on a cash only basis for three years now. As a result, I own my home and land lock, stock and barrel. I own my car. Etc. Etc. Etc.

In any case, if you haven't yet done so, now is the time to cut up your credit cards, lock into a low rate on your mortgage ... and buy seeds for that garden! Because, when the news of rising interest rates finally makes it into the New York Times, it's already getting to be too late.

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