Well, we have to have spending priorities, or we're going to see that phrase a lot. Worse still, having "insufficient funds" doesn't get you out of the overdraft charges. Oh... and even worse still, in this beautiful day of electronic banking, your checks can get bounced about a billion times before you figure out what's going on and do whatever it is you have to do to rectify the situation.
I find the financial world befuddling. Perhaps that's why I vote more on social issues than whether my economics trickle down from some rich guy who buys property in Montana. I'm figuring if you're honest, forthright and moral, you can't go far wrong. Though I'm sure there are plenty of honest, forthright and moral people in poverty. I just like to think that they don't maliciously pass bad checks in their personal lives, and wouldn't want to bankrupt our country. Well, I think that.
Now, I'm not saying there aren't certain economic principles out there that really work. More that, the more I understand about markets and demand, the more I realize that these experts are really just taking educated guesses when they appear on TV and tell us how "the economy" is going to do.
"The economy." It's just so nebulous to me. Suppose about ten million people make Big American Widgets at various US companies, but no one wants to buy widgets this year from American suppliers. OH NO. The companies spent years designing the thing in their own versions and rigging the assembly lines across the US to make this kind of widget. They can't just make a different kind tomorrow, or tell their workers they are now earning three dollars an hour because that's all their labour is really worth in this market. ("Hey, supply and demand, baby. Tough noogie." See how well that goes over with the Feds... they get picky like that.)
They need some help from the government or they're going to go under. Let's not kid ourselves and think that it won't affect YOU when all those workers can't buy groceries or pay their mortgages.
But we can't stop there. Big American Mortgage companies and "Home Equity" companies and "Home Improvement" companies need money, too. People need to get back taking out Big American Mortgages and "Home Equity" loans so they can go back to buying Big American Widgets. BIG AMERICAN WIDGETS needs help NOW!!
And you know, I don't think that by "widgets," I mean just fancy cars. I think the problem comes from overspending, period. You want what you don't have and use credit to get it. I know I sure do, or I wouldn't have a house to live in. I'd be in some slummy apartment, paying way more than the place is really worth on a month-to-month basis because I couldn't scrape together $150,000 cash to plunk down all at once.
So here's what we did. We figured that we'd take a chance and buy a house. (Well, we got a mortgage and I guess we own about half of it now. Um... maybe a lot less if things keep going downhill.) We knew when we bought the house that home values could go down. Yes, we did. I don't know where all these stupid people the newscasters come up with went to school, but it's just such a basic concept that no one should leave the eighth grade without understanding that commodities can go up or down in value. "Value" simply means, "what others are willing to pay for something." And guess what? At least so far here in America, no one is mandating that I personally go out and buy a product or else.
Oh, wait. Yes, they do. It's called auto insurance. Well, scrap that. You knew what I meant, though.
But widgets! What's the solution to get everyone to buy American products?