Narcotized

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Hot tip, invest in printers.

What's the country come to when you can't even rely on good ol fashioned gridlock anymore? Both parties "compromised" that if you Republicans let us Dems be fiscally irresponsible with continued spending, we Dems will let you Republicans be fiscally irresponsible with tax cuts.

We're Broke + Tax Cuts + Continued Unemployment Benefits
= We're 1 Trillion Dollars More Broke

Ben Bernanke's gonna need to buy a lot more money printers.

Oh be ready; when it hits the fan there's gonna be a whole lotta colateral damage.
 

cfdavid

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Hot tip, invest in printers.

What's the country come to when you can't even rely on good ol fashioned gridlock anymore? Both parties "compromised" that if you Republicans let us Dems be fiscally irresponsible with continued spending, we Dems will let you Republicans be fiscally irresponsible with tax cuts.

We're Broke + Tax Cuts + Continued Unemployment Benefits
= We're 1 Trillion Dollars More Broke

Ben Bernanke's gonna need to buy a lot more money printers.

Oh be ready; when it hits the fan there's gonna be a whole lotta colateral damage.
It's inevitable that we will see huge structural change, or simply, a marked reduction in standard of living. Probably both.

Narc, I agree. You can only defy logic for so long.
 

pgg

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What do you mean? The stock market's up 75% since that little dip a couple years ago! Everything is fine.


I don't know what to do with my money. I'm running out of great ideas for inflation hedging places to put money that won't bone me if nothing really serious happens for another 10 or 20 years. (Joking aside, it could happen ... seems unlikely, but we ought to plan for business-as-usual too.)

I just bought prepaid university contracts through a state 529 plan for two of my kids. (My oldest has my post-9/11 GI bill to use.) Essentially right now I'm paying today's projected tuition & fees, then the contract covers whatever the cost is when they start school. Some good tax benefits for the next few years and at worst (if tuition falls) they can be rolled over into cash accounts without loss or penalty. Tuition increases seem a surer bet than NASDAQ increases.

Silver was a pretty good deal until a month or two ago but it's up about 40% since summer. I've been steadily buying PMs (not gold) for a while, just basic dollar cost averaging, but I think I'm done for now. Speaking of PMs, lead & brass prices are deflating - though still not back to pre-Obama-panic levels and I don't think those costs have any further room to fall. Looking out for some Christmas deals by the case ... :)


The hardest part of all this is making good money, having minimal expenses, and still having this sinking feeling that much of what I save or invest today is going to be bled away, directly or indirectly by the ******ed things our government is doing.

Scratch that, the hardest part is waiting for the United States to turn into a North American Argentina.
 

pgg

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The smart money is in the ink anyway ;)
I can't believe people still buy inkjet printers. Color lasers start around $200 now, toner lasts almost forever, and toner refill kits are dirt cheap. Even free inkjets given away with new computers are a ripoff.

I have an inkjet PHOTO printer which has stupidly expensive ink, but I don't use it often.
 

dr doze

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What do you mean? The stock market's up 75% since that little dip a couple years ago! Everything is fine.


I don't know what to do with my money. I'm running out of great ideas for inflation hedging places to put money that won't bone me if nothing really serious happens for another 10 or 20 years. (Joking aside, it could happen ... seems unlikely, but we ought to plan for business-as-usual too.)

I just bought prepaid university contracts through a state 529 plan for two of my kids. (My oldest has my post-9/11 GI bill to use.) Essentially right now I'm paying today's projected tuition & fees, then the contract covers whatever the cost is when they start school. Some good tax benefits for the next few years and at worst (if tuition falls) they can be rolled over into cash accounts without loss or penalty. Tuition increases seem a surer bet than NASDAQ increases.

Silver was a pretty good deal until a month or two ago but it's up about 40% since summer. I've been steadily buying PMs (not gold) for a while, just basic dollar cost averaging, but I think I'm done for now. Speaking of PMs, lead & brass prices are deflating - though still not back to pre-Obama-panic levels and I don't think those costs have any further room to fall. Looking out for some Christmas deals by the case ... :)


The hardest part of all this is making good money, having minimal expenses, and still having this sinking feeling that much of what I save or invest today is going to be bled away, directly or indirectly by the ******ed things our government is doing.

Scratch that, the hardest part is waiting for the United States to turn into a North American Argentina
.
Agree with number 1. I think it more likely the decline that we suffer will be more like Great Britain in the decades after WW2 than Argentina.
 
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Narcotized

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The hardest part of all this is making good money, having minimal expenses, and still having this sinking feeling that much of what I save or invest today is going to be bled away, directly or indirectly by the ******ed things our government is doing.
That's the part that leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Working hard, living a clean honest life, and knowing we are caught in a debt death spiral.
 

pgg

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Agree with number 1. I think it more likely the decline that we suffer will be more like Great Britain in the decades after WW2 than Argentina.
Loss of empire, diminished international influence, and reduced real wages and living standards are probably the best we can hope for. Sad as that is, it does leave room for a safe, prosperous country. I don't expect an Argentina-style economic collapse, but I fear it, and I plan for it, because the consequences of not doing anything are so life-changingly severe.

Argentina wasn't some broken down third world South American hole. It was a first world country with a prosperous world-travelling middle class, and it fell apart. Abruptly.

a book said:
The situation in Argentina reached the point of no return in December of 2001.

The International Monetary Fund, in spite of no signs of the Argentine government's willingness to pay them back, had been lending money to Argentina and postponing its payment schedules, to keep a fictional "convertibility" at a one-to-one rate of our Peso currency with the US Dollar.

It was obvious that the Argentine authorities had no intention of ever paying back the billions that were owed, but for some reason the IMF kept lending. I suppose they are very naive and trusting people ...

[...]

The country had been systematically ravaged by both foreign and local institutions. Argentina is a food producing country, but children were starving to death every day, because their parents couldn't afford the price of food, since the unemployment rate had exceeded 25%, and inflation was making our currency less valuable by the hour.

[...]

Our world was suddenly transformed. The rest of humanity still lived by B.C. and A.C years. Argentines measure history by before and after "one-to-one," or before and after "the crisis."

"Nice car, nice jacket, are they new?"

"Are you kidding? I couldn't afford these today. No way; I bought them before one-to-one."

For example, here is a lunch break chat I once had with people from work:

"Paris is very nice, but I liked London better."

"Dude, you've just been to Europe?"

"No way man, I went before the crisis."

"Oh."

It turns out that everyone at the table had traveled around a lot. But we all did it before the crisis. Only the elites can afford international travel these days.

This was just the beginning. I don't think anyone expected things to turn out the way they did, or how the economic crisis transformed everyone's lives. The crime, inflation, corruption, generalized degradation of our cultural standards and way of life. The crumbling of infrastructure and how public education became something we're ashamed of, when it was once the best in Latin America.

[...]

What we experienced here in Argentina, even thought some choose to deny it, was the socio-economic collapse of a pretty much average Western society that was (apparently) doing well, economically speaking. That is, until the rot behind the facade revealed itself.

The rot I'm referring to was debt and corruption, helped by international groups with their own agendas.

[...]

Also keep in mind, Argentina isn't what most people around the world picture as a primitive Latin American republic.

Buenos Aires is still sophisticated and has its own charisma. It's a large metropolis with subways, trains, lots of architecture and social life. It's a relatively rich country in both natural resources and culture. Argentina was the first country in the region to have nuclear power plants, something that many bordering countries still don't have.
Too many people just have this odd (denial fueled?) deeply held belief that it can't happen here.

We had a depression 80 years ago and minus Vietnam it's been sunshine and brief crises ever since.

The book quoted above was written by an Argentine who lived through it, and is still living through the aftermath. Not especially well written, many of the parallels he draws between Argentina and the United States are flimsy, and often kind of a silly "survival manual" (just look at the goofy cover :rolleyes:) ... but much of it is an honest look at what happens when a 1st world nation's debt crashes and just crushes the middle class.