Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Stocks on Steroids

Is it really the right solution for the federal government to inject the economy, particularly the stock market and credit and loan bureaus, with 200 billion more dollars worth of federal emergency loans ? Where is this money even coming from when our nation is already in debt trillions of dollars ? Who does this injection benefit ? Who will pick up the tab and when ? What do the federal interest rate cuts actually do and what is the lasting benefit ? Are there any policies or rebates which encourage people to save, be resourceful, and avoid debt ? What are the tangibles which back up our currency ? Is it oil ? Is it housing ? What will we do if our currency can no longer purchase cheap goods and services from subordinate countries ? What if our leaders' eye on the prize in the middle east doesn't result in a return on our investment as they had hoped ? These are important questions to stop and think about. As the true reality of our economy presents itself, we may find great opportunities to be creative and make positive and necessary changes.


Anonymous said...

We're with you brother! We'll be down there soon to catch water as it falls,engery from the sun, and build a home from the earth.
We are enjoying your blog.
Kim and Randy

trevor.reichman said...

Great ! Looking forward to meeting you two.

remington said...


also, I owe you a phone call.

Michele from Hostbaby said...

I love your blog, Trevor! I read it every time there is an update and I'm just now getting around to telling you that. I am fascinated by your project down there and just a touch jealous (though I admit I probably wouldn't last long in the same situation). :)

Your questions about the economy make a very interesting post, and it's something I've been thinking about a lot lately too.

One up side to the rate cuts is that we'll probably refinance our house again. The net result will probably be that we make the same affordable monthly payment we are now, but pull out a chunk of cash in the process. Cash we will naturally use to improve the house. We're getting serious about solar panels on the roof (yes, even in Portland) and some energy-saving appliance replacements (on-demand hot water heater for one) at the very least. It's not that I love borrowing money, but if I can pay less interest and make an investment in our house (and save money on utilities in the long run) then I'm willing to do it.

Over at your Frugal Observer blog, you talked about John S. remodeling his home and you wrote "He understands that it can pay him and his family back exponentially, especially when considering the money they are saving and value added to their home". That really got me thinking about the fact that about 90% of my net worth is my house -- so I should be investing in it!

We'll also have a small garden this year, but sadly I have concluded that there is no legal way for us to have chickens (lot's too small!) so we'll have to settle for tomatoes and green beans.

Thanks for writing the stuff you do - it's inspirational and encouraging to hear about your adventures! Let me know the next time you swing thru Portland and we'll have a beer/coffee/laugh. :)

trevor.reichman said...

Hey Michele ! Good to hear from you.

It seems that what you are doing is wise, treating your shelter as a tangible investment that will give back to you over many years...especially if the payments are in reach.

I hear that Portland has a great net metering credit system for grid uploading. Sounds like you have already looked into it. Basically, instead of the old option to sell harvested energy to Porland at wholesale prices and then buy back energy at retail prices, they now offer a direct credit system where they let your meter spin backwards during the long sunny summer days that you are uploading to the grid and then forward again during the cloudy winter months that you are borrowing from the grid. The idea is to attain a final net of zero. The grid used this way sort of acts as a giant shared storage battery. You are very lucky to live in a state that offers this, so I would definitely start buying panels as you can afford them.

I'll drop by if I am in the NW ( maybe end of summer ? ). Please do the same if you ever find yourself in these parts.

Thanks for writing !