Daily Digest

Daily Digest 8/9 - Martenson on TechTicker, Frugality = Happiness, Gov’t Job Losses

Monday, August 9, 2010, 10:50 AM
  • Inflation or Deflation? "Yes," Says Chris Martenson, Who Sees 'Stagflation' Coming
  • John Williams: Times That Try Our Souls
  • The Crisis Of Middle-Class America
  • The Mother Of All Bubbles
  • Side Effect Of The New Frugality: Happiness
  • Summer Doldrums, or the Eve of Disaster?
  • Jobless and Staying That Way
  • U.S. Lost 131,000 Jobs as Governments Cut Back
  • India Asks, Should Food Be a Right for the Poor?

Crash Course DVDOwn the Crash Course DVD – share the message of the Three E’s with those you care about (NTSC or PAL)

Economy

Inflation or Deflation? "Yes," Says Chris Martenson, Who Sees 'Stagflation' Coming

The Federal Reserve will announce it’s latest interest rate decision on Tuesday. Few are expecting the central bank to raise rates. Instead the attention, as it has been over the last year-plus, will be focused on the Federal Reserve’s wording. Will they signal another round of quantitative easing based on fears of deflation?

The theme of deflation has picked up steam among some of the world’s top investors, as we recently chronicled with the Wall Street Journal’s Gregory Zuckerman.

Yet many reading this must be thinking: What deflation? The price of gasoline, food, healthcare, education are all getting more expensive.

Ask Chris Martenson, inflation or deflation? The economic researcher responds, “Yes!”

“We’re seeing inflation in some areas and deflation in others,” he tells Tech Ticker in this clip. “We have powerful deflationary forces in play right now. It’s been well balanced, so far, by what the Fed has done.”

John Williams: Times That Try Our Souls (SteveW)

We had the signal in December of 2009 indicating intensification of the downturn, in this case, within six to nine months. We're in that timeframe now and see softening numbers. People are talking about a weaker economy. Even Mr. Bernanke has described the economy as "unusually uncertain" in terms of its outlook. Wording like that from the Fed is a pretty good indication that something's afoot.

The Crisis Of Middle-Class America (Ilene)

It only takes about 30 seconds to tour Mark’s 700sq ft home in north-west Minneapolis. Cluttered with chintzy memorabilia, it was bought with a $50,000 mortgage in 1989. It is now worth $73,000. “At one stage we had it valued at $105,000 – and we thought we had entered nirvana,” says Mark. “People from the banks kept calling, sometimes four or five times an evening, offering equity lines, and home improvement loans. They were like drug pushers.”

The Mother Of All Bubbles (JimQ)

The price of land in and around Beijing has gone up by a factor of 9 in the last few years. Delusion isn’t just for Americans anymore. These two charts should be placed next to the word “bubble” in the dictionary. This will surely end in tears for anyone who has bought a house in China in the last two years.

    Crash Course DVDOwn the Crash Course DVD – share the message of the Three E’s with those you care about (NTSC or PAL)

Side Effect Of The New Frugality: Happiness (re-post, Jeff B.)

New studies of consumption and happiness show, for instance, that people are happier when they spend money on experiences instead of material objects, when they relish what they plan to buy long before they buy it, and when they stop trying to outdo the Joneses.

Summer Doldrums, or the Eve of Disaster? (podcast, Erik T.)

We discuss the short term and long term set-up in the markets, and examine the prospects from both a Bearish and Bullish point of view. Some indicators we look at include: unemployment data, the current preponderance of negative economic indicators, and the longer term impact of the hugely negative sentiment readings we saw back in late June. Does the bull market still have legs? Will a new rally be fueled by QE2? Or will it be overwhelmed by events associated with the Cardinal climax, or a big Elliott third wave to the downside? We also consider whether or not the market is now seeing a seasonal low in gold prices.

Jobless and Staying That Way (jdargis)

The “new normal,” as it has come to be called on Wall Street, academia and CNBC, envisions an economy in which growth is too slow to bring down the unemployment rate, while the government is forced to intervene ever more forcefully in a struggling private sector. Stocks and bonds yield paltry returns, with better opportunities available for investors overseas.

U.S. Lost 131,000 Jobs as Governments Cut Back (jdargis)

Government figures released last week confirmed that the American economy slowed in the spring, and the latest jobs numbers suggested that the weakness continued into the early summer. With economists and politicians fervently arguing over whether the economy is poised for liftoff or stalled on the runway, Friday’s jobs report did little to end the debate.

India Asks, Should Food Be a Right for the Poor? (jdargis)

India’s ability, or inability, in coming decades to improve the lives of the poor will very likely determine if it becomes a global economic power, and a regional rival to China, or if it continues to be compared with Africa in poverty surveys.

Article suggestions for the Daily Digest can be sent to [email protected]. All suggestions are filtered by the Daily Digest team and preference is given to those that are in alignment with the message of the Crash Course and the "3 Es."

29 Comments

saxplayer00o1's picture
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Re: Daily Digest 8/9 - The Mother Of All Bubbles, National ...

"Rothschild Private Banking & Trust has warned that perceived safe haven government bonds are on very shaky territory.

As the economic and financial outlook severely deteriorated in May and June, investors flocked to what were deemed to be the secure government bond markets of the US, Germany and the UK. "

"Rothschild continues to seek protection in gold. 'We believe gold will remain a natural safe haven and continue to hold significant positions within investment portfolios. There are still major concerns about the weak fundamentals underpinning many paper currencies, particularly the euro, and we expect the price of gold to $1,300 during the second half of this year.'"

"LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) -- China's banks could see as much as 20% of their loans from state-controlled firms go bad, a report said Sunday, even as the nation's banking regulator said non-performing loans were on the decline.

Recent stress tests conducted by the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) showed 20% of all outstanding loans to state-owned companies were "in trouble" as of the end of June, the Japanese business newspaper Nikkei reported, citing an unidentified CBRC official. "

"Because of the problem caused by repetitive losses, 1 percent of properties account for between 25 and 30 percent of the claims it pays. The number of "repetitive loss" homes more than doubled in the past 15 years. What's more, the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 has left the program deeply in debt with little or no hope of stemming the tide of red ink.

Hemorrhaging $200 million a year, the National Flood Insurance Program now owes the Department of Treasury more than $18 billion - money an April report from the Government Accountability Office says the program is unlikely to be able to pay back.

"Sadly, very little has really been accomplished on the ground compared with the exploding magnitude of the problem," said David Conrad, a water resources specialist for the National Wildlife Federation who has studied the flood insurance program."

"Chicago Public Schools is unveiling a $6.4 billion budget plan for the upcoming school year. And to help balance that budget, CPS officials estimate more than 1,700 school-based positions will be eliminated. Those positions include high school teachers, custodians, clerks and teaching assistants.

The city's teachers union has filed a lawsuit to prevent some of those layoffs.

School chief Ron Huberman says he's willing to hear suggestions from the teachers union that would avoid layoffs, but time is running out."

"Call it a sign of the times. A study published this morning by our partners at the Dayton Daily News says that many school districts are seeing their tax revenue slip away because many of us aren't paying our taxes.

The investigation found that more than $87 million in unpaid property taxes were owed in Montgomery County as of this past June.

Two-thirds of the delinquent taxes owed in the county--$59 million--are on real estate within the Dayton Public School district.

The report also said that the unpaid taxes are taking tolls on a wide range of local governments as well as libraries and county agencies.

Despite a 4.9 mill operating levy that passed in 2008, the district lost $19 million from unpaid taxes last year. District treasurer Stan Lucas expects that figure to rise more than $20 million this year.

Property taxes comprise nearly half of the district's general fund revenue.

Lucas said that Dayton could be in a state of fiscal emergency--which occurs when an operating deficit exceeds 15 percent of a schools district's general fund revenue--in the next two years if the district's situation doesn't improve.

DPS expects to be forced to make as much as $15 million in budget cuts next year, which comes on the heels of the $39 million and 600 staff members that have been cut since 2008.

Another 100 staff members could be cut by next year, according to Lucas."

"The number of price-reduced homes on the market increased 5.3 percent in July as compared to June, according to a monthly review of MLS-listed properties within 26 of the country’s largest housing markets conducted by the national online real estate brokerage ZipRealty.

Although the number of price-reduced homes increased in July, the median price reduction across the 4500 cities and communities in 26 markets surveyed slightly declined from June, to $18,949.

“Homebuyers this summer have been on the sidelines, waiting to find deals and bargains; so we’re seeing more sellers slashing their list prices to entice these home shoppers to make an offer,” said Leslie Tyler, vice president of marketing for ZipRealty.

More than 45 percent of “for sale” homes in July included at least one price reduction — an increase of 2.67 percent compared to June. “For sale” prices dropped 2.04 percent — down to a median of $254,987 across the 26 markets surveyed.

In six major metros, more than one out of two home sellers reduced their list price — Jacksonville, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Orlando, Austin and Chicago. The metro with the highest percentage of price-reduced “for sale” homes continues to be Jacksonville, Fla., where 54 percent of all July listings had at least one price reduction. Denver had the lowest percentage of price-reduced homes on the market in July with 32.5 percent."

"Nearly a quarter of U.S. homeowners with a mortgage owe more on the loan than their home is worth, and home prices are threatening to fall further and push even more borrowers underwater. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), though, is throwing out a lifeline.

Starting September 7, the federal agency will offer new FHA-insured mortgages to certain underwater, non-FHA borrowers who are current on their mortgage payments and whose lenders agree to write off at least 10 percent of the unpaid principal balance."

"To facilitate the refinancing of new FHA-insured loans under this program, the Treasury will provide incentives to existing second lien holders who agree to full or partial extinguishment of the liens. "

"The U.S. Federal Reserve is in the same boat as the banks now, dealing with a mortgage portfolio that’s riddled with deficiencies and delinquencies. The central bank’s NewYork branch has been saddled with a heap of souring loans from the assets it picked up to support the 2008 bailout of Bear Stearns.

And now, as more and more of these loans – both residential and commercial – fall into default, the New York Fed is faced with a dilemma: to foreclose or not to foreclose.

It’s a particularly sticky situation given the federal government’s deep-seated stance on preserving homeownership and abating the foreclosure crisis in both the residential and commercial sectors, and since tax dollars, some of which came from the very property owners in arrears, helped finance the wind-down of Bear Stearns.

“For the Fed to come in and foreclose on properties puts it at some reputational and political risk,” Vincent Reinhart, a former senior Fed staffer who is now an economist at the American Enterprise Institute, told the Wall Street Journal earlier this week.

“If the Fed can’t figure out how to recast the terms of these mortgages and work with borrowers—it’s emblematic of the problems the government has had with other programs over the last year and a half,” Reinhart said."

"WASHINGTON – Government-controlled mortgage buyer Freddie Mac is asking for $1.8 billion in additional federal aid after posting a larger loss in the second quarter.

Freddie Mac said Monday it lost $6 billion, or $1.85 per share, in the April-to-June period. The company is required to pay a 10 percent annual dividend to the Treasury Department on money it has received from the government. That made up $1.3 billion of the company's second-quarter losses.

The company lost $840 million, or 26 cents a share, in the same quarter last year.

The government rescued McLean, Va.-based Freddie Mac and sibling company Fannie Mae from the brink of failure nearly two years ago. The new request means they have needed $148.2 billion to stay afloat, about $63.1 billion of which is being used by Freddie Mac."

  • Other news and headlines:

Japan Hit By Global Slowdown

US Fed predicted to unveil more easing

BP's Spill Costs Rise to $6.1 Billion

Morgan Stanley Group's $11 Billion From Chicago Meters Makes Taxpayers Cry

Russian farmers on brink of bankruptcy

Lawrence fire department says staff cuts hindered its response

US to pay big sums for Wall St tip-offs

Pension reform at forefront in Riverside County

Fewer US Homeowners Underwater as California Home Prices Rise (Read why they went up)

U.S. Investors Regain Majority Holding of Treasuries

Dubai Brokerages Shut as Trading Falls to 4-Year Low

Goldman posts 10 days of trading losses in second quarter

Total Pension Deficit Of FTSE 100 Firms Hits $109.5 Billion

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Re: Daily Digest 8/9 - Martenson on TechTicker, Frugality = ...

Marc Farber on the dollar and

http://vinceseconomicblog.wordpress.com/2010/08/09/marc-faber-on-cnbc-83...

 

Peter Schiff on the dollar collapse

http://vinceseconomicblog.wordpress.com/2010/08/09/dollar-collapse-peter...

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Frugality = happiness...

  I mention this not to judge anyone  but  to  just open  up conversations on the idea of coming home .   From our  families  experience  having one parent stay at home is a blessing  ....   our house has run smoother  and the people that are in it are much more content .  We have been taught  in our culture that we are not worthy if we do not have a career !    BUT ,    With one or the other parent home  ( our experience only ... not saying you can not do  it all )   Our meals are healthier ( cheaper too )  , our lives less hectic , the stress level is down and therefore there has been less sickness and bickering .  The Home seems to be more of a place of retreat and recharge .  A place we want to spend time with each other and not just a pit stop

.Many of you would not even imagine how a family could live off a yearly  income below $100K .  But I am telling you it can be done . Do your children need designer clothes ?  No!  you are setting them up for an unsatisfied   life if you constantly buy them things when what they really need is time with you .

  This may not appeal to most but  I really think there are many  advantages to making the home where your heart is instead of living and breathing your job .  I think there are some here that just want to take the leap of faith and come HOME.

 This is just  MHO .

   FM .  

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Re: Frugality = happiness...
Full Moon wrote:

  I mention this not to judge anyone  but  to  just open  up conversations on the idea of coming home .   From our  families  experience  having one parent stay at home is a blessing  ....   our house has run smoother  and the people that are in it are much more content .  We have been taught  in our culture that we are not worthy if we do not have a career !    BUT ,    With one or the other parent home  ( our experience only ... not saying you can not do  it all )   Our meals are healthier ( cheaper too )  , our lives less hectic , the stress level is down and therefore there has been less sickness and bickering .  The Home seems to be more of a place of retreat and recharge .  A place we want to spend time with each other and not just a pit stop

.Many of you would not even imagine how a family could live off a yearly  income below $100K .  But I am telling you it can be done . Do your children need designer clothes ?  No!  you are setting them up for an unsatisfied   life if you constantly buy them things when what they really need is time with you .

  This may not appeal to most but  I really think there are many  advantages to making the home where your heart is instead of living and breathing your job .  I think there are some here that just want to take the leap of faith and come HOME.

 This is just  MHO .

   FM .  

FM,

I couldn't agree with you more.  My wife had a very good career but decided to become a stay-at-home mom, much to the benefit of our entire family.  Both our children are in top universities now and doing very well.  Growing up, they were both healthy and rarely got sick, largely as a consequence of excellent nutrition and an emotionally secure and nurturing home environment.  They never had any problems with alcohol, drugs, smoking, or other peer pressure type problems but have many friends, are active in community service, and have a strong spiritual grounding.  I attribute these positive outcomes more to my wife than to me and the circumstances made possible by her not working.  If she was working, things would have been much more difficult and stressful for all concerned. 

Many will say that they cannot afford to have one spouse stay home but books like Margin by Richard Swenson explain how it is often more feasible than most would think.

http://www.amazon.com/Margin-Restoring-Emotional-Financial-Overloaded/dp/1576836827

For the single parents, I feel for them.  I don't know how they do it.

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Re: Daily Digest 8/9 - Martenson on TechTicker, Frugality = ...

Chris

Your interview on Tech Ticker was excellent.  As we would expect, you presented your knowledge well and quickly.  Above that though, your manner seemed relaxed and confident.  Your facial expressions and gestures conveyed an earnest and sincere desire to inform the viewer.  Your appeared very trustworthy.  Your interviewer, Aaron Task was well informed.  He asked good questions and allowed adequate time for your responses, unlike many in his position.  I’m sure many viewers will react favorably. 

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India And Population

 

India Asks, Should Food Be a Right for the Poor?

Gee, I dunno, India. Should your people keep reproducing if your government can't afford to feed and clothe and house them? If your government could afford to feed and clothe them, should your people keep doing it until your government can't?

The story is just so sad - especially the corruption and bribery and the suffering children. If only people could behave themselves. Then again, America also wouldn't be in economic troubles it is in, would it?

Poet

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Re: Daily Digest 8/9 - Martenson on TechTicker, Frugality = ...
Travlin wrote:

Chris

Your interview on Tech Ticker was excellent.  As we would expect, you presented your knowledge well and quickly.  Above that though, your manner seemed relaxed and confident.  Your facial expressions and gestures conveyed an earnest and sincere desire to inform the viewer.  Your appeared very trustworthy.  Your interviewer, Aaron Task was well informed.  He asked good questions and allowed adequate time for your responses, unlike many in his position.  I’m sure many viewers will react favorably. 

Thank you Travlin.  I was in a remote studio which meant I had an ear piece and a blank camera screen in front of me.  Did the best I could but I'd really like to be in a live studio setting next time...easier to get the cadence just right and possibly have it seem a bit livelier.

They taped two segments, so I am hoping they'll run the other one too at some point.

I wish I could be as declarative as some other guests who are certain about inflation vs. deflation but all of my analysis leads me to conclude that the answer is "both."  Just have to get the timing right...

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Re: Daily Digest 8/9 - Martenson on TechTicker, Frugality = ...

Here is an article from Stoneleigh at TAE as a partial rebuttal to the John William's aritcle referenced in the digest - http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com/2010/08/august-8-2010-stoneleigh-takes-on-john.html

Obviously TAE is much more focused on deflation in the short term and I tend to agree. They make the good point that the Fed may be helpless to cause monetary inflation since private actors are saturated with debt and money velocity has collapsed.

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Re: India And Population
Poet wrote:

 

If only people could behave themselves. Then again, America also wouldn't be in economic troubles it is in, would it?

Poet

And America would Still be a British colony. Wink

Doug

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Re: India And Population
Doug wrote:
Poet wrote:

 

If only people could behave themselves. Then again, America also wouldn't be in economic troubles it is in, would it?

Poet

And America would Still be a British colony. Wink

Doug

We need our groove back! :-)

Poet

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National Flood Insurance

 

National flood insurance program $18 billion in the red

Ever noticed that the government steps in to insure people at extremely cheap rates when insurance companies themselves wouldn't do it because it was too expensive? That's why a huge segment of America lives in a flood zone.

Poet

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Re: National Flood Insurance

FM and ao,

Spot on.  We decided we would have less "stuff" to spend more quantity time with our kids.  Both kids completed excellent colleges in 4 years (with real majors).  Both are morally grounded and do not drink or do drugs.  A long time ago my wife was down about "wasting" her degree. Her dad sat her down and told her she had the most important job in the world.  When other parents ask what we did, we are at a loss that they can't connect the dots.

I don't want to judge either.  Each of us had our own unique set of circumstances and we don't always have the option to keep one parent at home.  Having kids is interesting.  The most important job in the world is parenting - and there are no requirements (except biological) to have them.

Nate

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'Peak Oil' Theory Advocate Matt Simmons Dies

Matt Simmons, a prominent oil investor who argued the world was rapidly approaching peak oil production capacity, died suddenly on Sunday of an apparent heart attack at his home in North Haven, Maine.

 

http://www.cnbc.com/id/38624677/

 

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Re: Daily Digest 8/9 - Martenson on TechTicker, Frugality = ...
cmartenson wrote:

They taped two segments, so I am hoping they'll run the other one too at some point.

Their video is in two parts.  The second follows automatically after a pause when the first one ends.  I just checked again and it is still doing that.  Sounds like they may have it all there, but it is easy to miss part two if you don't wait a moment since they give no indication of it.

Yeah, I can see how taping from a remote studio makes it doubly hard. 

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Re: Daily Digest 8/9 - Martenson on TechTicker, Frugality = ...

Energy, Environment and Economy: 3 "Es" Every Investor Should Know (Chris Martenson...Tech Ticker Video)

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Re: Daily Digest 8/9 - Martenson on TechTicker, Frugality = ...

Summer Doldrums, or the Eve of Disaster?

Great job Eric T, you articulated your views very well.  I had to go back and listen twice to make sure that the host was making financial predictions in-part based on astrology.  Cardinal climax, hmmm.....

 

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Re: Daily Digest 8/9 - Martenson on TechTicker, Frugality = ...

That frugality = happiness is my mantra now.  I think very carefully now about whether I really need something before every purchase.  Managing all my 'stuff" has become too much work and detracts from having fun, family time, and preparations for a different next couple decades.  Just getting rid of stuff now takes time from more important things, but I made a pledge to give away or throw away something every day. 

Tom   

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Re: Daily Digest 8/9 - Martenson on TechTicker, Frugality = ...
Travlin wrote:
cmartenson wrote:

They taped two segments, so I am hoping they'll run the other one too at some point.

Their video is in two parts.  The second follows automatically after a pause when the first one ends.  I just checked again and it is still doing that.  Sounds like they may have it all there, but it is easy to miss part two if you don't wait a moment since they give no indication of it.

Yeah, I can see how taping from a remote studio makes it doubly hard. 

Did this work for anyone else? My experience was that the first video just keeps playing over and over. There is no automatic advance to a 2nd video (in my experience, at least), nor was there a link to a 2nd clip.

Erik

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Re: Daily Digest 8/9 - Martenson on TechTicker, Frugality = ...

same over and over for me

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Re: Daily Digest 8/9 - Martenson on TechTicker, Frugality = ...
Erik T. wrote:

Did this work for anyone else? My experience was that the first video just keeps playing over and over. There is no automatic advance to a 2nd video (in my experience, at least), nor was there a link to a 2nd clip.

Erik

It might have something to do with living in the future.  It's already tomorrow where you are -- right? Wink

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Re: Daily Digest 8/9 - Martenson on TechTicker, Frugality = ...

Ok, it still doesn't work (for me anyway) on the original link. But I was able to find the second clip here:

Erik

 

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Re: Daily Digest 8/9 - Martenson on TechTicker, Frugality = ...

That frugality = happiness is my mantra now.  I think very carefully now about whether I really need something before every purchase.  Managing all my 'stuff" has become too much work and detracts from having fun, family time, and preparations for a different next couple decades.  Just getting rid of stuff now takes time from more important things, but I made a pledge to give away or throw away something every day. 

Tom   

   Tom ,

 I can just feel the breath of relief you are experiencing  by not being in bound down  by  things .     The amount of time it takes to clean organize and store 'stuff ' is so consuming .  Then you have to pay to insure it ... Crazy !    What about the wasted time of envy others 'stuff ' .  I am sure your family so appreciates the things you give up just so you can spend time with them .     It has got to make them feel so special . 

When you are able to put family  before job and collecting more stuff you are setting a path with great rewards !  

 AO ,   I know from experience  that  it was  a big  decision that  your family made for your wive to sacrifice her own career for your family well-being   and surely  one without regrets .  Really  it should not be that we need support and affirmation from others to confirm  that  we are doing the right thing for our family  but somehow even though  we see the great results we have to push back attacks and the doubts from time to time .  The reward far outweighs the sacrifice . 

 This choice may be harder and harder  for families as they may well need both incomes to take care of the families financial needs .    I can say that there were a few years that we lived off as little as $30K  and I learned to be most frugal and respectful of how hard my husband worked for that money .  It was also a time when I had to respect his career choices and support his every effort .  We got through , no one went hungry ,and we felt blessed that we did not have to accept assistance from anyone .   This may have been prideful but we did not know it at the time ... we just considered it taking care of our own .   I can see why in other countries more of the families live closer and support each other .

 Anyway , in a world that tries very hard to destroy the very foundation of family  it is very important to see how we can be so easily mislead .  If the  studies are true  each family only has a 50% chance of making it  , but there just might be a few things we can do beat the odds.   I am probably  just reflecting because My husband and I are soon to have our 33rd anniversary and it is good to look back at where we came from and plan to  purpose in our hearts to fight the battle coming towards us .  Yup something ( with respect and awe of  those who are strong enough to go it alone )  I am most happy to not have to . To me the family is worth the sacrifice.

  Now to go see why the youngest son  has the grandsons wound up before bed .   I think it makes him feel powerful to not be the underdog and they are excited to sleep over with the uncle .

 It is a gift to be simple

FM .

 

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Re: 'Peak Oil' Theory Advocate Matt Simmons Dies
Mikey1052 wrote:

Matt Simmons, a prominent oil investor who argued the world was rapidly approaching peak oil production capacity, died suddenly on Sunday of an apparent heart attack at his home in North Haven, Maine.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/38624677/

No joke? Shucks.. now we'll never know if his ammonia stuff works :(

Samuel

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Re: Daily Digest 8/9 - Martenson on TechTicker, Frugality = ...

Full Moon & ao,

I was a single parent for 18 years, and not by choice. I was abandoned wiih three small children, and yes ao, I don't know how I managed sometimes, but I did. In the country that America used to be, I was able to work hard, get a degree, and become a high-paid engineer. Yet what was my ultimate goal? To be part of a traditional extended family.

When I grew up all I wanted to be was a wife and a mother. I'd not object to going back to work outside the home, but this last year of prepping, gardening, and home organization has been very fulfilling: doubly so since my son moved here from Florida because there are no jobs there and the economy is in slighly better shape here in the Columbia SC area. And I needed my son's help due to my hip replacement. WE needed his help, my new husband and me, because we are both 55 and there are so many prep projects to do. My son "gets it" and has been an enormous blessing.

One thing good about the economic hardship howadays is people getting back together with their extended families.

Safewrite

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LogansRun
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Re: Daily Digest 8/9 - Martenson on TechTicker, Frugality = ...

I think this is what we have to look forward to if the Carbon Tax ever passes (which it will) and the North American Union comes to fruition (which it will).

http://www.cnbc.com/id/38635851

Weary of relying on money transfers from cash-strapped national governments for its funding, the European Union will next month table proposals to finance more of its activities through a raft of dedicated EU-wide taxes, in proposals that met on Monday with stiff resistance from some member states.

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Re: Daily Digest 8/9 - Martenson on TechTicker, Frugality = ...

It only takes about 30 seconds to tour Mark’s 700sq ft home in north-west Minneapolis. Cluttered with chintzy memorabilia, it was bought with a $50,000 mortgage in 1989. It is now worth $73,000. “At one stage we had it valued at $105,000 – and we thought we had entered nirvana,” says Mark. “People from the banks kept calling, sometimes four or five times an evening, offering equity lines, and home improvement loans. They were like drug pushers

You never know the full story from a new piece like this, but what jumps out at me from this is "WHAT have you folks been doing since 1989 on a fairly small 50k mortgage that it isn't paid off long ago ??? " Just because the bank gave you a 30 year mortgage DOESN'T MEAN YOU SHOULD BE AN IDIOT and give them interest over 30 years.....100 bucks/mo extra thrown in on the payment, and they would have it paid off in 12-14 years, easy.

Said they nearly lost the house last year when they fell 3 payments behind.....well DUHHHH.....well what IS the number of payments one should fail to pay before repo ?  Did they FALL for the drug pusher's line to use their house like an ATM and go buy "chintzy memorabilia" that are now ready for the trash heap ?

Einstein was right.....there are only two infinites....the size of the universe and human stupidity.......if you need confirmation of this, see the story on flood insurance, and the percentage of repeat claims paid on the SAME homes....how many times do you need to have your home flooded before you figure out YOU LIVE IN A FLOOD PLAIN ?

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Re: Frugality = happiness...

Full Moon, my husband and I made the switch last year.  He is now a full-time stay at home dad, and I work outside the home.  Its still taking some getting used to (he's feeling a bit overwhelmed lately by feeling like he doesn't get enough time to himself, but I'm hoping this will improve once the kids go back to school in the fall), but you are spot on in saying that things run so much more smoothly, people are less stressed, talk more, and do more things together as a family.  Every once in a while each of us looks at the other's world with a little bit of envy (he sees me travelling for work and getting a 'break' from domestic life, while I see him with the freedom to spend more time with the kids and engage in the preps that are critical to us in the future). We talked long and hard last night, and I think we've managed to vanquish the green monster.

We do have less disposable income, and have to watch what we spend more closely, but I think our family has been happier overall.  My son just had his 9th birthday, and we spent very little cash to give him what he described as "the best birthday ever" (a trip to the zoo, barbeque at the beach, and an awesome 8 foot hardwood snake carved and painted and detailed by his Dad).   We also have time enough to tackle some of the preps that we see as critical, but which simply couldn't be done if we both had full time jobs (building a fence, installing a water catchment and drip irrigation system, having two large gardens, etc).  And the fact that he's home to help with some of the domestic stuff, allows me to spend more of my off time working on the types of preps that are more my domain, like canning.  There are lots of spin off benefits, if you can get past the bank balance. 

Bluenoser

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Re: Daily Digest 8/9 - Martenson on TechTicker, Frugality = ...

Ok, it still doesn't work (for me anyway) on the original link. But I was able to find the second clip here:

Thanks Eric, that link works; moreover, the second half of the interview was important to me in that Chris made clear in the interview that, like John Williams, when referring to inflation or deflation, Chris means price inflation or price deflation.

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