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Old 10-08-2008, 11:18 AM   #169
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Remember when the History channel had history and Discovery wasn't reality TV?
Gene
The last History show on TV was Victory at Sea, and the last host of a reality show was Buffalo Bob Smith.
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Old 10-08-2008, 11:54 AM   #170
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What we need is a good war to fix the economy....

WHAT??...we already have two.

Never mind..

" NO NO NO"

You were right the first time We need a good war not two bad ones....
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Old 10-08-2008, 04:27 PM   #171
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I'm not a political animal & not affiliated w/a particular party - but there is much to be concerned about these days (especially if in a certain age bracket, it seems) & I am trying to be as informed as I can possibly be. In that light, I thought I would post this here for anyone else who is like minded. It was e-mailed to me.


Burning Down The House: What Caused Our Economic Crisis? V2
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Old 10-13-2008, 11:34 PM   #172
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Unhappy Elkhart, IN belwether?

The RV manufacturing in Elkhart, IN is closing down. That's not Airstream (we seem to be doing OK, but I do see a lot of for sale signs in the classifieds, especially on the diesel MH ASs), but it's still meaningful. I'm rehabbing a vintage AS, a project that requires sometimes making do with what is currently available from the SOB industry. I got replacement hubs and tires from Elkhart. I bought my AC from an Elkhart discounter; I was saving up for new beds and bath fixtures from a discounter in Elkhart. Most troubling is that behind these manufacturer and vendor losses are the people who will no longer have jobs. Watch for fire sale discounts once the mfg. close for good.

My $.02
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Old 10-14-2008, 07:00 AM   #173
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Blame the Poor

On Burning Down the House: Convenient to blame the poor.
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Old 10-14-2008, 09:38 AM   #174
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Quote:
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On Burning Down the House: Convenient to blame the poor.
My wife was in charge of loan computer systems for a locally owned bank in Sacramento during the time that lending institutions were not only allowed, but encouraged to to make "sub-prime" loans to people who should not have borrowed. We called it "creative financing". It was done to create "affordable housing".

The only way the bank was able to avoid the pressure to make these loans was to get out of the home loan business all together, and that's exactly what they did.

Lynn and I thought at the time that at some later date, all of that would come home to roost. Well, it did, and in a big way.

Adding to that huge problem, is the massive credit card debt taken on by people who have no idea how they will ever pay it off. This problem is yet to be addressed.

We think that many of the people who can not pay their home mortgages, are the same people who can not pay their credit card debt.

So, hang on, there may be another bump in the credit road ahead.
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Old 10-14-2008, 11:45 AM   #175
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I'm not a political animal & not affiliated w/a particular party -

Dude ,,, maybe if you had left this comment out and just just posted this as purely political, it would not be so bad. It's a very very slanted take of what happened.
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Old 10-14-2008, 12:38 PM   #176
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Party Time!

I agree with Jim in #174 credit card debt is another issue no one wants to talk about.

I have read how credit card companies are lowering debt limits for people with good credit who pay their charges off every month, so I can imagine what they are doing to people with average credit. The credit card companies, like the mortgage industry, has been sticking it to people with excessive fees and charges and arbitrary interest hikes for years, so when the economy is stressed, the whole system tends to collapse under a wave of defaults. It's easy to stick it to people when there are few defaults, but there's a point when it cascades and the credit card or mortgage company does not have the capital to make it through the recession or near depression.

A lot of people have overspent and who has set the example?—the government. A political party that has always preached responsibility in spending promoted reckless spending while reducing income. The Baby Boomers seem to be in charge and they sure love credit and spending. What kind of example did the government set in the past 8 years? Shop after 9/11, and rely on unregulated mortgage companies to create new financial instruments to fuel the housing boom—unfortunately it was made of magical paper. It was really no different than a government printing money and debasing the currency to pay its debts.

They relied on the Laffer Curve, an untested theory that basically says the lower taxes are, the more income will be produced and thus, more taxes will be collected. It is true that if the government taxes too much, so much money may be removed from the economy that tax receipts will drop. There was no evidence that this has happened in the US. We may have high corporate tax rates on paper, but there are so many loopholes, the US real corporate tax rate is very low and the US is rated as one of the most desirable places in the world to do business. When government tax and spending policies were based on the Laffer Curve, US public debt skyrocketed and we were told to spend, spend, spend. So we did.

Another thing to think about is where the government spends money. If that money is invested in things that enhance the economy and produce wealth, then the entire community benefits. If it is invested in things that don't do that, it is a drain. A bridge to nowhere obviously produces little wealth and the same is true of many, but not all, earmarks. But earmarks are a miniscule part of the budget.

Military spending is a major part of the budget. It does provide jobs, but a lot of the money goes to fancy toys (I'd like to have a supersonic jet plane too) and munitions—that does little to help the economy because the goal is to destroy things. In fact, we destroy them and then we rebuild whatever country we destroyed. Wars have become extremely expensive and we have to ask whether we can afford them. Maybe one, but two? So, don't we have to ask whether national security requires a military as expensive as the one we have? As an investment, can we afford the wars we have been sold?

Another government investment is making sure old people have decent health and income. How much would it cost society as a whole if old people didn't have Medicare and Social Security? Could their children afford it (they often cannot afford their own health care)? What if they didn't have children? Do we want to bring back the (wholly inadequate) Poor Houses run by counties before the 1930's? Of course, there's a moral question involved here too.

What about roads? Before the automobile, the US had a pathetic road system. Commerce relied on railroads and shipping. Some roads were toll roads, thus limiting how many people could use them. A very effective interurban trolley system was built in the more populated states (now we are recreating it). The AAA and other auto lobbying groups convinced the feds and the states to build a non-toll modern highway system. Commerce increased amazingly because efficient communication is necessary for a modern economy. The creation of the interstate highway system was one of the major accomplishments of the mid-20th century and had similar results.

But since then, we have not invested in such communication. Some want to go back to the inefficient toll road system of the 19th century. And, we have not invested in information communication. Early in the 20th century, vast areas of the country did not have phones or electricity. The people were struggling in great poverty—in America's rural areas the Depression started in the early 1920's. Under the New Deal, the government helped bring telephones and electricity to rural America. I get my electricity from an electric co-op. It is cheaper and more reliable than any for-profit electric company I bought electricity from before I moved here. Now, however, there has been little government investment in making sure all of the country has cheap, reliable information communication. Many of us also get TV from cable or satellite companies that overcharge and underperform—no meaningful regulation.

The poor made bad judgments, but those judgments were no worse than those made by the middle class and the rich. Some people kept saying this can't work, but they were ignored or shouted down. The governing class too often pander. What a good party it was! The hangover is brutal.

Gene
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Old 10-14-2008, 12:55 PM   #177
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We may very well have one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world but what good is it when there are loop holes and corporate welfare in the form of tax brakes and incentives that corporations end up paying less than the average middle class citizen as a percentage of income. Because people rely on the major networks ( owned by the same large corporations) for almost all their news, it's no wonder it starts sounding like a broken record. I would say that there is a sizable portion of the population sleep walking though life basically parrotting what they hear on the nightly news and considering themselves informed .
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Old 10-14-2008, 01:18 PM   #178
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an upside

Oddly enough, in the current situation diesel is coming down. If the price continues to drop (or at least stays where it is) I will be able to enjoy my AS. Yes, I did travel all summer this year, but it was on a severe budget and there were lots of things I would have liked to do that I was unable to due to diesel at $4.90 a gallon.
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Old 10-14-2008, 02:21 PM   #179
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The price of fuel does seem to be coming down. One factor is surely the economic situation.
I think another factor may be the push to get off of oil.
Think about this........If you had control of all of the oil, whether here or somewhere else in the world, and you ran the price way up, as it has done, then the users not only talk about using something else, but start using other sources of energy, as is happening all over the world right now, what would you do with the price? Would you want to be stuck with oil that nobody needed to buy?

If you have a product that you need to sell in order to exist, and that is all you have to sell, the mere thought of your customers going to some other product should scare the daylights out of you.

How many products that you buy, other than oil, are exported from the middle east? They may just find themselves over the barrel, so to speak.
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Old 10-14-2008, 02:23 PM   #180
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Now, however, there has been little government investment in making sure all of the country has cheap, reliable information communication. Many of us also get TV from cable or satellite companies that overcharge and underperform—no meaningful regulation.
An interesting point to this is that ten years ago many citys started looking into setting up wireless internet that would have open city-wide coverage. But companies that wanted to sell everyone internet services complained/sued/ did whatever they needed to do to shut those systems down. Last I heard some citys that had got it going were dismantling their systems. So our city has almost no free internet access points, but the city did feel it was wise to invest in building a failing hotel and a failing ampetheater (an open outdoor performance space in the rainy NW - what a great idea). Gobs of our tax money spent to prop up corporations with a poor business plan to start with, instead of spending just a tiny fraction of those amounts offering a service which should be considered a basic need in our high-tech age.

I had thought by this point we'd be able to go anywhere with our trailer and just turn on the laptop and get wireless, check maps, catch up on news. Still waiting.
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Old 10-14-2008, 03:56 PM   #181
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I haven't read through all of the threads, because my attention span starts to wane at around this time of day, but from what I've read it sounds like some of you prescribe to the Dave Ramsey school of thought. I had never heard of Dave, until I moved to TX. I don't really listen to anything but AM radio, simply because I like hearing people speak, not scream to music.

If you've never heard of Dave Ramsey, check out his website. He makes good fiscal sense. According to him, since 1970 there have been 10 economic downturns in the market, and 100% of the time they have bounced back.

Brooke and I have begun to follow his principles and are slowly but surely getting ourselves back on track.
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Old 10-14-2008, 07:21 PM   #182
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Thumbs down Bringing it Home

Our local Camping World announced last Wednesday they would be closing.

We left on a leaf peep'n trip to the Adirondacks last Friday, this evening we stopped to dump and the doors were locked and all the inventory was gone. They had built/opened this store less than three years ago.

Sure they don't sell A/S, but they still had a large inventory of nice stuff.........Damn now we gotta go to Rochester.

We still don't have an Airstream dealer in NYS...
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