The Cure

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Imagine how different cars would be if people had to pay for them – as opposed to financing them.

Debt – which is what financing is – allows people to buy more car than they can afford. It hides the actual cost of the car. It enables the government to impose costs in the forms of mandates which would otherwise be unaffordable – and so, objectionable. People would complain in the one language the government understands.

They would not comply – because they could not buy.

This would put the brakes on what seems unstoppable: The endless and accelerating juggernaut of “safety,” “fuel efficiency” and “zero emissions” mandates coming out of the federal regulatory apparat. It’s lovely – to a federal regulatory apparatchik – to call a press conference at which the latest technically feasible “safety” system is urged upon the public. Air bags that deploy outside of the car, for instance – to cushion the impact of your car upon the body of a jaywalker, for instance (and yes, they are actually talking about mandating exactly such a system). It is another thing if the system in question is something that can’t be folded into the low monthly payment of a seven-year loan.

Debt financing also enables the economically irresponsible to drag the economically responsible into the red by raising the cost of everything and thus making it hard and often impossible as a practical matter for the economically responsible to avoid financial wastage.

Consider: It is effectively impossible for most people to avoid driving a car with at least two air bags, because all cars manufactured for the past 20-plus years have been required by federal law to have at least that many. Unless a person is willing to drive a car significantly older than 20 model years (you’d need to go back to early 1990s to find cars without at least two air bags) one is effectively forced to buy a car equipped with at least two air bags.

The cost of those air bags – of which there are now usually at least six in most new cars – is hidden from buyers by spreading out the cost over a lengthy period of debt-financing. People  do not see – so they do not object. This is not unlike the diabolically clever business of “withholding” taxes from people’s paychecks; they never actually have to write a check to Uncle; they never miss money they never actually had in their hand. Imagine the roar that would emanate if people had to write Uncle a check each year for the money currently withheld from their paychecks. That roar would almost certainly result in lower taxes.

Hence withholding.

Hence financing, for the same reason.

Air bags were a dead letter when people had to choose to pay for them – and the cost of them couldn’t be folded into a six or seven year loan. Because – at the time – such loans did not exist. You generally had to pay for the car over three or four years. Adding 20 percent to the car’s cost – the cost of air bags at the time, when they were still a la carte options – could not be discreetly folded into a loan of such short duration. It would be like trying to hide a brick under a carpet.

The obviousness of the cost and the impossibility of obscuring it via Methuselean debt financing caused most people to abstain from buying the air bags – when they had the choice.

Which would be even more the case today given the six (or more) air bags which are now to be found in all new cars. . . if people had the choice.  

If these were offered a la carte – as optional equipment and had to be paid for without resort to a loan as long as most people spend going to high school and college. If that were the case it is a good bet almost no one would buy them, because almost no one could afford them.

The thing speaks for itself. 

But because almost anyone can finance them, we are all effectively forced to go into debt for them. There is no great roar of outrage about the imposition of these costs because the costs are hidden from view. Gradual impoverishment via debt is like old age; they each creep up on you. A person looks in the mirror one day and notices he is going gray. A person reaches late middle age and takes stock of his finances and realizes his net worth is practically nil – but he is living in a “nice” house and driving a brand new car with six air bags.

And a back-up camera, tire pressure sensors, LED projector beam headlights, 18-inch wheels with $150 per piece tires, automated emergency braking, with a direct-injected/turbocharged engine under the hood, putting the power down via a nine-speed transmission connected to a viscous coupled all-wheel-drive system.

Probably, our man would have bought none of these things – government mandated or not – if he hadn’t been enabled to do so via the diabolical device of debt-financing. It – more so than Uncle, who merely uses it toward this end – is responsible for the economic enslavement of the population. It’s a comfortable enslavement, in the sense that never before have debtors enjoyed heated leather seats and a great stereo system. But they are enslaved nevertheless. Because insurmountable debt amounts to perpetual insecurity. One is constantly sweating money, beholden to a job – which one may despise – and a particular employer, whom one dreads in the same way that a galley slave dreads the whip master.

One hundred years ago, the average person didn’t have access to the baubles – and luxuries – that are now seemingly everyone’s birthright. The difference then vs. now is that while there may have only been a simple Model T parked outside of the person’s home, it was probably paid-for.

And so was the home it sat in front of.

Its owner may not have had heated seats – or six air bags. But he had something else, infinitely more precious.

His freedom.   

. .  .

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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223 COMMENTS

  1. Very well said. One of the greatest freedoms you can have is being debt free. I think the auto makers are seeing the writing on the wall that the more the price of new cars go up due to regulations, the fewer they will sell. It’s probably why the new mantra is “ride sharing”.

    • It will be interesting to see what happens to the ride sharing drivers when their insurance agents cancel their policies and no one will sell them another because they have been trying to skate by on consumer policies when they are involved in an accident with a paying passenger who walked away without leaving their name.

      • That’ll be the next thing “they” regulate, Bill. Suprised they haven’t already. They’ll require commercial policies….meanwhile Uber drivers, after all is said and done aren’t even making minimum-wage right now….so I don’t see how ride share could habdle it…but never uinder-estimate the stupidity of the American sheeple….

          • Too bad everyone wouldn’t just burn them books. That single act would neuter Uncle faster than a meth-addicted vet at a tom cat convention.

            • Anybody who would refer to them as “them books” probably wouldn’t be keeping them.
              I was fortunate that my most severe encounter with the IRS took place after my sole source of income was Social Security, which placed me in uncollectability and removed the garnishment they had started thereon.
              The claimed deficiency was for 2004-5. They didn’t investigate and issue a finding until 2010. They sent the notice to an address I haven’t received mail at since 1995.
              All of this leaves me with the impression that the IRS’s competence has dropped to such a degree that they are no threat to those with no attachable assets, a status I have cultivated for the last 30 years.
              Nothing can neuter a government that can borrow whatever it needs from its central bank.

  2. Great article. Your articles are all great – cars and libertarian philosophy under one roof. Perfect.

    You could also argue easy debt has influenced nearly everything else like the cost of college and the housing bubble. Unlimited easy credit has basically ramped up tuition and house prices to the stratosphere.

    Same for government debt.

    If people had to pay up front for things for example social entitlements or war they would almost never support them.

    The population is happy to invade countries when cost is painlessly rolled into the national debt and passed on to their grandchildren to pay back. If they personally had to cut a $10,000 check to Uncle before the invasion of Iraq could proceed there is not a single war they would have supported since WW2. Or practically any big Gov spending.

    • Thanks, Chunk!

      I’m mainlining coffee and doing all I can to try to do my part to summon the moral outrage that is the necessary precursor for positive change to occur.

      Glad to have you with us!

  3. Nunzio,
    You are absolutely correct.
    Proper nutrition cannot prevent anyone from committing ignorant, accidental, or deliberate suicide.
    You must side with the doctors that say that what you eat is irrelevant, like they teach future doctors in medical school. The problem with that is a smaller majority of them are continuing to believe that after they get their MDs. There are a growing number of doctors that recognize that they were lied to in medical school, and they are moving into holistic practices in droves.
    I bet that that you take every pharmaceutical that your doctor prescribes, especially the ones that have suicidal ideation listed as a side effect (as half of them do).

    • LOL! You’d lose that bet, Bill.

      I’ve been eating very clean and natural since ’85. What we eat is extremely important; and no mere supplements can equal the benefits we get from real fresh whole foods, which contain all of the other essential components necessary for proper absorption and digestion, etc.

      Everything I eat is home-cooked from scratch. Oftentimes from stuff grown/raised right here.

      Rx’s? Me??!! I do take a couple of eye drops to keep my eye from exploding- thanks to the effects of surgies I had as a child, when I had no say in the matter. Other than that, that’s it. I don’t even take aspirin. I loathe any type of drug.

      Other than that Mr. Magoo doctor (Who knows Rand Paul personally, and is very Libertarian-minded himself; and into using natural remedies) i haven’t been to a doc/hospital since 1978. I abhor modern medicine.

      If I criticize aspects of naturopathy or whatever ya wanna call the use of supplements and such, it is only because it is on a course to becoming more and more like the medical cartel- in that it often thinks that we can isolate certain components of natural things- essentially making drugs out of them; and or that all ailments can be addressed by merely eating a certain food or taking a pill or potion…without regard to all of the other factors that make up our lives; and without regard to genetics/ancestry, etc. – i.e. it is essentially on the same path as what lead modern medicine to be the ineffective mess which it is.

      Funny thing too: I look at my mother. She never did anything special. Eats store-bought bread (YUCK!)…doesn’t concern herself with what’s in the food she eats; doesn’t use supplements, etc. She’s 93 and not senile or decrepit. Kinda puts things in perspective. I think what we do can greatly affect the quality of our lives…but ultimately, major health issues and longevity are largely hereditary.

        • Definitely. The more they do…the worse it gets. The more people who have “access to healthcare” the worse things are getting. Just in my lifetime, I’ve seen things go from the average person (especially children) being healthy….to everyone- especially children- having some disease or syndrome…being on several drugs…having asthma and allergies, and in general being delicate and frail.

          How much of it is real vs. how much just because some doctor tells them they have something, and they thus play the part, I don’t know…but even if they’re not really sick when they go to the doctor, they will be sick after a few visits and a few trips to the drug store…..

  4. Eric,
    The majority of what I eat is animal.
    Doctors have a new procedure when they are doing a physical. They use their stethoscopes to perform what they call auscultation on the carotid arteries in your neck. They can tell how occluded they are by how much turbulence they can hear.
    When I got my last physical, the doctor listened on one side, then the other, then he went back to the first side. I asked him what he was listening for and was told that he could be barely hear what he would expect to hear in a 63 year old man’s carotid. Apparently my consumption of vitamins D3 and MK-7 are having the effect that Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue said they would in her book, The Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life. I highly recommend the book, vitamin D3, and MK-7 to anyone concerned with their cardiovascular health.

    • Funny thing about a lot of these tests…. They’re often not very good at degrees.

      They tell people their arteries are fine…

      This was the case with my Bro-in-law (among others- but just to use one example). His sister had croaked in her early 50’s from a heart attack- so my BIL was always very concerned after that, and started going for frequent check-ups and cardio-specific tests. They always told him that his arteries were amazingly clear and healthy. He’d go every years for tests….and for 20 years, everything was great…until one time, when “all of a sudden” he had a major clog and needed a triple bypass…..

      So either arteries just clog suddenly…or else the tests are total bullshit.

      Ditto with my sister. Smoked 4 packs of Pall-Mall unfiltered a day for 40 years. She’d have coughing fits. My mother would say “You can’t tell me that you don’t have emphysema!”- My mother’s familiar with emphysema- as my grandfather died from it. Docs always said my sister was fine though “Lungs are clear” etc. (Even said that in my mother’s presence, so it wasn’t as though my sister was lying…for a change).

      Then boom! One day, my sister can’t breathe good and goes to the hospital….all of a sudden she has COPD and emphysema- and is now on oxygen. This is someone who has spent her life going to doctors…but no one could see the disease coming? LOL. No one with a medical degree, anyway. Of course, my mother and I knew she had it for many years…..

      Take D3? Or just go out in the sunshine, and don’t use all of that sunscreen crap.

      • Spend $20 and buy the book. It is worth every penny.
        Auscultation is not a test but a direct indicator of occlusion in the arteries. It can only be done where a major artery lies close to the surface of the body, and the carotid is the supply to the brain, so it is highly predictive of hypovolemic stroke.
        So you think that tests that you have personally seen are worthless are more reliable than something that has been demonstrated to clear occlusions? If you don’t believe me or Dr. Rheaume-Bleue, you should get the book and follow all of her references to replicated studies.

        • Bill, Bill, Bill….

          You know what THE best thing is to nuke even almost a completely closed artery? Fresh raw whole unpasteurized un-homogenized cow’s milk.

          Trouble is with most things that actually work: They’re usually illegal. Uncle don’t really want ya getting better. He wants ya spending your money or being dependent upon socialist medicine, while ya slowly croak.

          • Cows milk is not for humans. It is for calves in the same way that human milk is for babies until they wean themselves. Most babies never get any milk from their mother, depraving them of the colostrum that would insure that their immune systems are strong and effective, assuming they weren’t destroyed by the adjuvants in the vaccine storm that they face before they can stand on their own.

            • Very true about the colostrum- but unmolested raw cow’s milk is fine for many creatures. If ya can eat their dead flesh, their living milk is much better.

              There was a guy in MO. – I forget what was wrong with him, but he couldn’t eat solid food. Insteada drinking chemicals and taking drugs, or having operations to try and effect a work-around, he lived on nothing but fresh raw cow’s milk (from his own cow) for c. 30 years. Stayed in perfect health and lived into his 80’s…. Never had any heart/circulatory problems.

  5. Eric, about the outdoor air bags: I remember a few years ago that the early versions of the Prius were so quiet, they made almost no noise. This resulted in Toyota being sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act, for making a vehicle that could not be heard, thus endangering the lives of blind jaywalkers who wouldn’t be able to hear the Prius approaching them as they crossed a city street.

    What will the technocratic mind conjure up next for our cars?

    On second thought, maybe you shouldn’t tell me. It will just make my teeth hurt.

  6. Wow..
    Women today are a trap for the unwary young white men. You hook up, have a kid or two, and she kicks you to the curb. Then child support in the form of a state agency comes after you with garnishments, etc. She won’t let you have a relationship with your kids and the state which ruthlessly strip mines you financially won’t help you and refuses to acknowledge your right to have linkage between your financial contribution and the right to know your own children. If I were a young guy (I’m old now), I’d put an ample supply of my sperm in frozen storage and get a vasectomy; never mention it to any women in my life. There would come a time when one of them said: “Honey, we have to talk; I’m pregnant.” What fun!!
    I have several employees who are under the gun with child support enforcement and they can barely afford to live, much less live without room mates, etc.
    Debt…If you’re able and inclined you can always drive nice cars by harvesting the table scraps. I have other employees who have put together composite cars they bought for next to nothing. They’d get a 12 year BMW 540 with a dead engine for $500 and transplant another engine into it and end up with a great reliable road car for $2000. I myself have a stable of mostly older Benzes that just fell into my hands. The last time I bought a new car was in 1971, but they were cheap back then…$3000 for a new stick shift Volvo.
    Starting when I was about 40 I dedicated myself to the concept of being debt free. At 65 now I have no debt, business or private. I live in a decent but modest house in the country that was paid off years ago.
    being semi retired my “income” is so low I qualify as being poor, but I have the luxury of owning all my accouterments debt free and that represents freedom. I have contemporaries who live in fancy houses and drive Teslas or other vanity cars and they are totally in debt and they live a house of cards life. At 65, they are not free men they are slaves. Which of us is rich?

        • Sad thing is, it doesn’t even matter anymore here in the Fourth Riech- Courts are now making men pay even for kids who aren’t biologically theirs. Marry/shack-up with a dingbat who already has kids, or be with one who has a kid by someone else while you’re with her, even if you can prove it’s not yours, you can now be made to pay.

          Why should their be any semblance of justice or equity or fairness in a dictatorial police state?

    • Right-on Erik!

      I’m sure I could qualify for Food Stamps and all of that other socialist crap if I would have it….but to say that I am “poor” would just be so ludicrous…. I’m one of the richest people I’ve ever known! I have a friend who is worth several million who envies me.

  7. “This is not unlike the diabolically clever business of “withholding” taxes from people’s paychecks; they never actually have to write a check to Uncle; they never miss money they never actually had in their hand.”

    On top of that it is so nice to hear them all boast about getting that nice refund check from the government every May or June. Manna from DC. Not quite as good as the Christmas Clubs the banks used to run where you loaned them money for a year, interest free, and they gave it back to you in December. At least you got all of it back (ex-inflation, of course).

    The populace can’t handle Econ 101. We need to teach Econ 001, assuming we could find teachers who could grasp the concept themselves.

  8. Retired, independently wealthy, bought my car with cash and slave to no one. (Not married.) But still pissed that I had to pay for options I didn’t want.

  9. They are going to make their money one way or the other. The old way was to force people to buy a new car every 3 years through forced obsolescence (yes they would actually STOP making the parts that they DESIGNED to break after 3 years) The new way is to make cars that last 6 years (finance them for 6 years) and charge twice as much.

    • That would not have ever worked in the automotive industry. The aftermarket and junkyards would supply any need. Furthermore back then they would make the same parts and use them on every model for decades. Also parts would be so close together from one make to the next that one could find something that worked even if it was nominally for a car of a entirely different manufacturer. There was a company that used to publish an interchange manual to say what parts from say a Ford would work on a Packard.

      Even if an automaker tried to practice a three year we ain’t making it no more policy it would have been undermined almost immediately for anything that made the car go, stop, or turn. Now a piece of trim or some optional comfort item sure that might not be available but not the vitals.

      They sold cars by creating a social need to have shiny and new.

      • How do you think cars get to the junk yard? A part is designed to break after three years. Not one car in the junk yard is going to have that part working. I was driving in the 70’s and remember 3 year old cars that COULD NOT be fixed.

        • Three year old cars collide with things too and get totaled.

          I’ve never had an issue with stop-go-turn on a 1970s car. But I have heard of mechanics scamming people by saying their car can’t be fixed or inflating the bill. Of course that comes with a low ball offer to buy the car.

          There’s nothing on big three 1970s cars that’s anything special with regards to keeping it going, stopping, and turning. It’s all stuff that was used on so many models and for so many years. Sure maybe some piece of emissions equipment becomes hard to get but there’s always a bypass or a workaround for that sort of thing unless you live in CA or some other horrible place that demands an OEM emissions part and forbids salvage yards from selling them.

        • Most cars less than 10 years old in the junkyard (and this has been true for many decades) are there because they were totaled (I used to be in the junk business). Only the cheapest econobox ends up in the pile for mechanical reasons- and that is only if a motor or tranny goes.

          Many of those “cars designed to last 3 years” are still in operation today- 50 years later- and parts are often even still available- despite the fact that for most of their lives, they had no value as collectibles, and were often treated poorly/not maintained, and sold after 2 or 3 years by the original owner just because cars were cheap and they wanted something “new and better”.

          Like Brent says, many of the parts were not only interchangeable across makes and models for many years, but many were just standard machine parts, not even specific to cars. I have a taper bushing on the gearbox of my mower deck….searching for one online- a 1210 x 3/4″ I came up with an old Mopar car part on Ebay- which I ordered, as it was the cheapest one! -It’s just a common part, used on many old cars; tractors; machinery, etc.

          • Yep, I forgot about off the shelf standard parts. I put them into products as much as I can. Why? They are dirt cheap when purchased in volume.

            There are tons of companies that make switches, bearings, fasteners, knobs, hinges, chain, and just about everything you can think of. Much of what may be needed will be in their catalogs. The big problem is finding a way to get it retail. Someone who will buy a case of them and then parse them out. But in the 21st century we have amazon marketplace and ebay. There are a fair number of people making a living doing that. It’s easier than ever. Not so much anymore do you need to know someone or some business to business place to help you out. A lot of those b2b places will now sell you stuff online with a credit card when they would just turn away retail customers 20 years ago.

            • It seems to me, Brent, that now that so many things are going proprietary- especially now that everything’s so dependent upon electronics; and/or they source generic parts from China, or use non-servicable assemblies, that like you say, the old standard parts are indeed becoming harder to find, not only in single units, but at all- i.e. they’re just ceasing to make a lot of things lately.

              It used to be (I mean, even a year or two ago!) that you could walk into a big machine/fabrication shop; electric motor place; ag parts place; industrial supply, etc. and have ax good chance of finding what you need right on the shelf- or at worst, they could order it; or you could definitely get it on the interwebz AND save money….but lately, a lot of these simple common things seem to be vanishing.

              Kinda feels like when vacuum tubes were on the way out….

              • If you need electronic components, mouser, digikey, there are a couple others.

                things are getting to the point where generic electronics will be able to replace anything that isn’t rebuilt from OEM. The big rebuilders having doing electronics for good long time now.

                The shops are still out there, but there just isn’t retail public access any more. There’s just too many laws these days for them to bother. I used to buy sheet steel from a place that made ductwork. They would sell their scrap pieces by the pound. It’s a place my grandfather took me to. Good luck with that now. Mostly now I just scavenge steel or cut up stuff I already have. I do have most of a big piece I bought from a retail sheet metal shop many years ago as well.

                The benefit of being a mechanical engineer is I’ve always had access to a bunch of scrap at work. Different things at each place but always something. I think one of the more creative things I’ve done with scrap was make a pulley holder out of pieces of products my employer makes. Added a small block of wood and it worked perfectly.

      • Guys…. you dont get it do you…. who said there will BE junk yards…. remember they are NOT environmentally friendly and green?? Here in the UK, when a car has died – its RECYCLED…… when I first moved here I was shocked when a friend took an old banger to a glorified and PC’d up dump and he was given a BILL for 200 quid because he was told its illegal to throw away a car…. and it had to be recycled!! Pretty sure the way green-ness is spreading it will eventually come to the US as well…… (god forbid the plebs keep taking parts off other cars and keeping there cars going Mad Max style when shit goes crazy)

        • Cars have had scrap value for over a century. I read an article where the writer stripped a parts car to the bone and still got a few bucks from the salvage yard that towed away the chassis.

          And in the Chicago area this ad in one form or another has been running since the 1980s:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6TTOx9I6y0
          Even their new ad that doesn’t use that footage uses a computer generated version of the same scene so I count as merely a continuation of the same ad.

        • That’s interesting.

          I mean, Wow! Nasir!

          And not only that (Lack of junkyards) but with modern cars being so heavily dependent upon electronics in virtually every component, and the fact that electronics don’t age well…’specially when out in the moisture, snow, sun, heat, and dirt….. the modern junkyard, even where it still exists, is SHRINKING.

          Having been in the business…. On the street where I used to rent a yard, there used to be a good 20 junkyards from at least the 1960’s till the mid 90’s- all on this one street (And there were similar streets like that in several areas- every 20 miles or so). On that street today, there are exactly TWO junkyards today.

          On some of the other streets in other areas, there are NONE left.

          And the selection of what is available today, compared to the 90’s… Used to be that you could find virtually ANYTHING- from 20 year-old cars and trucks to late model. Today, it’s mostly about body parts for stuff no more than 4 years old. And if you need a little part- or just one panel, forget it! They want to sell whole clips or half cars to shops fixing late-model wrecks. They only sell single pieces and little things if they have something a little older, after the good stuff has been taken.
          A lot of states, it’s illegal now to sell used airbags; and used emissions parts…so there goes a big part of their business too.

          • Most automotive salvage operations have two sides. The newer stuff goes to the full service side while the older stuff goes into the self service side. If you’re looking for something 10-20 years old they are in the self serve yards. The newer stuff they make a person pay full serve prices for. Out in the weeds yards are largely long gone.

            • Many places, land values, property taxes, “environmental regs” etc. cost so much, space at yards is at a premium. They bring in the newer stuff….blow out the stuff they make the money on, and then scrap the rest. Doesn’t pay in many cases, to keep stuff around taking up valuable space, for a few $5 parts.

              And even where space isn’t at such a premium, when the price of scrap goes up real high, like it did a few years back, the yards’ll take all the old stuff to scrap- at say $300 a car, it would take years to sell of that many parts on a run-of-the-mill older car to make that.

              Pick-it-yourselves are becoming pretty rare, too. I’d imagine insurance kills ’em, plus ever-increasing “saaaafety regs”.

              • Still many self serve yards in the chicago area. About the same number since the 1990s. My favorites haven’t been the same since the family sold out to LKQ. Still the best organized. they’ve always known to leave the oldest cars they get in there to sit until completely stripped.

                Victory however I loathed the first and last time I went there. They had mavericks with hundreds of dollars of parts I would have bought but they were in stacks of three cars. Usually at the top for where I needed something not on the bottom of the car and at the bottom when I needed to get under it. I would have bought an entire bucket seat interior if wasn’t for that. Supposedly they how have the yard paved and don’t stack. Haven’t visited to see but they rotate cars out quick. Their prices seem better than where I usually go on some things now. Maybe they’ll get a shot when the warm weather comes.

                • Wow! Pick-a-parts AND stuff from the 70’s?!

                  Shoot, back in NY you couldn’t find 70’s stuff even in the 90’s…and I’ve never been to a pick-a-part.

                  Here, you can’t find 70’s stuff or late model stuff….all most seem to have is 90’s and early 00’s- Dunno how they stay in business.

                  They actually still have Mavericks in the yards up there??!!!!

                  HAha…stacking. Yeah…. Reminds me of when I used to go to buy a part, and one of the yard monkeys would use a little trolley jack to jack up the stack of 3 cars, so he could go under the bottom one and get the part I needed… I have a feeling these are the people lobbying for “free” healthcare because “the greedy evil rich man” is making it so they can’t afford reconstructive surgery when they get crushed by their own stupidity or lack of concern…..

                  • I was at victory last in the 1990s.
                    They appeared in the yards back then. But now not too much 70s stuff shows up. Not too much 80s either. Mostly 90s and early 00s these days.

                    • Ha! Brent, purely coincidentally, I just came across this vid on Youtube “The History Of The Maverick”

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCAI-FXRGuQ

                      I’m sure it’s nothing you don’t already know….but others may find it interesting. It showed the relationship between the Maverick and the Mustang- A good few minutes of stuff I never knew!

    • Planned obsolescence fills junkyards faster. As long as a model of vehicle is on the road, there is likely to be a junkyard somewhere that has the part in need of replacement. When I was running a service station during the Arab embargo there was a network of local junkyards that worked together to find the parts their customers needed, just like a good auto parts store will. They even had their own two-way radio frequency so they’d all hear everything that any of them were looking for. Several of them pulled parts and a few delivered them.

          • Bill, be an ass…..you ass! Sure there are junkyards with hotlines. I’ve known people in the biz and even picked up a part or two in states a long way away. I’ve had parts shipped from 1000 miles or more away and saw them arrive…..used. JOhnny DOH is right in what he says. Why do you have to take issue with anything that can possibly be twisted?

            I’ve picked up parts in other states for my own use…..on big rigs. And yes, the dealers and shops have a list of other used parts suppliers. So, you have lived and worked everywhere there have been junkyards and know this not to be true?

            Once again, you really need some sex worse than any man I know of. A few hours of some hot stuff and you wouldn’t need to take issue with everything you can.

                  • The last actual one I received was from my very heterosexual wife before she left. I would never affront someone with the character of Robin Williams. I have no evidence that joeallen has any character, nor the intelligence to produce anything except ad hominem attacks.

            • Hehyepyepyep, 8. Even before computers, the junkyards used to have “hotlines”- If they didn’t have yer part, they’d get on the blower and say “Driver’s door for a ’72 Fudgepacker” and their request would be heard on a loudspeaker in the office of every junkyard that subscribed to that service.

              There was a time when ya could find that little place out in the middle of nowhere that didn’t have a hotline or, later, a computer, and score some rare parts at give-away prices….but now that EVERYONE has a computer and is familiar with Ebay, and knows everything….if anyone has anything good, they know what it’s worth, and then try and get even more for it; and they think that all of their worthless old junk is worth just as much too!

  10. This article is finally getting close to the problem we all face: Usury by the Money Mongers.
    We are absolutely in the Fourth Reich, or else how would our masters be able to force us into all the very limited choices we experience ? This is Fascism at its best.
    Missing from this discussion is the reality of what happens when the debt lifestyle as described, fails. Answer: The unpaid principal is moved over to the faux federal debt, the ROI is kept by the banksters, and the fiat money creation proceeds.
    We succumb to this process as we enjoy their “Bread and Circus”, consume their educational tripe about how smart they are, and allow them to buy their way to self adulation, seen for instance in their names on public buildings and the like.
    They own the government at all level and use its monopoly on violence to control us.
    POTUS is a figure head, just ask Janet Yenta or Alan Greenspan.
    Worst of all, this is fully explicated in the Bible, but we have been taught to disparage ancient wisdom.

      • You took the words right out of my mouth, Bill- only you said it much more succinctly than I would have, no doubt.

        Bankers can’t bother you if you do business with them. Only politicians can compel, and force you to deal with themselves/buy things you don’t want.

  11. First car I ever financed was afour year old Isuzu Diesel pickup, 30K miles on it. New price was, as I recall somewhere near $12K, I bought this for $2700 with five hundred down. Monthly payment was some eighty bux. I had been driving an older Ford F 250 with a VERY thirsty 390 and 4 speed. It got about 12 mpg. The Suzie got 35 plus. I sold the Ford, got way more back than I’d given for it, replaced the downstoke. The SUzie saved me more than the monthly bite in fuel costs. So I gained cash and cash flow by buying that little truck Wish I still had it today. I put aobut 50K on it, replaced some bearings in the gearbox for about a C note. Resold it for $3300 some eight years later, paid for for most of that, still saving the fuel money. That truck was better than free for me. But I ran the numbers before dropping the hammer.

    These days I am liking the old Mercedes Diesel sedans and wagons.. torbudiesels better, more power and a bit less fuel used. I’ve had a few of them GIVEN to me… take it out of my driveway, here are th ttile and keys. Okay, break my heart. Some of the most reliable and cheap to own cars I’ve ever had.. and I’ve had a couple hundred cars so far, maybe more, I’ve lost track. Those Benzes are VERY comfortable cars on the road, and simple enough to be easily fixed on the rare occasioins they do quit. Most times, its something stupid like water pump, alternator, battery, brakes… almost all of which are on the shelf at decent sized parts houses, even Autozone and NAPA. That’s cause the engineers built them to last, and then milions of them were built. Plenty of spares on offer.

    • Your Benz could break down in Africa, and ya’d be able to get parts for it! Now THAT’S the way a car should be made (‘cept for the power windows and the A/C which for some reason Mercedes never seemed able to figure out how to implement properly on those cars!)

      Now THOSE are real diesels. None of this computer-controlled electronic hokum oil-pressure fired injectors….but a real mechanical injector pump, and everything else mechanical too! We’ll never see the likes of anything like that being made new again, because they made too much sense. Safety (real, not imagined), economy, efficiency, reliability, durability….sanity.

    • Many years ago a neighbor, an old lady had one… 1980s MB diesel. Practically mint condition. One day shiny new MB in its place. Never told me she was going to get rid of it. I would have paid her more than the dealer for that tank. I never thought to ask about it since at that point the car was practically ready for antique plates so I thought she was intending to keep it forever. Also because it would go forever.

    • Hey Tionico, how did you manage to get those cars given to you? Do you hang out with the Benz owners or something? I would like to get an old one too.

      • Brian, I’ll check on the ones that I used to see every day. They’re both right south of Colorado City on the Sterling City highway. I’ll try to run by on my way in from the west reaches.

        BTW, back in the early 70’s a guy I knew had a 300….or 200, don’t remember which, with a propane set-up added. It ran fine and he kept it like new….and was that classic silver color.

  12. I pay my cars off when I buy them. It takes a few years to put your “car payment” in the bank then go buy a car. I do most of my shopping without going to the dealers. I drive a nice car in and complain about it and look at the car I had previously decided upon. I ask the price,financing and trade in value. Once all the figures are in, you get a better deal because the dealer gets a kick back from the lender, I say I’m paying cash with no trade-in. I have been screamed at by the dealer and had the deal taken off the tank ed. When you sit while the salesman talks to he “manager”, have someone in the room with you and talk about how you might like the “other” comparable car more, get up to leave, by the by show up on Christmas Eve at 4 or 5 in the afternoon and wait them out. I have saved thousands that way. Oh yea tell them you don’t want the car to be prepped or underscoring. The sales person will tell you it’s already on say “Well take it off then I’m not paying for it, period!”. Good luck shopping.

    • I once bought a car on New Year’s eve, and was amazed how easy it was to get a good price, and shoo away the people pushing extras. They just wanted to go home.

    • The dealerships get a kickback for getting you to take the financing. Going in and offering to pay cash gives you no leverage at all. For my last two cars, I took the financing because it got me an extra $1000 rebate each time. Then I paid off the loans a month later.

  13. And that’s why America NEEDS the…”modern-day Model-T”. An American made line of cars & trucks, stripped down, reliable, simple to fix at home, UNDER $5000 new. Unfortunately, I reckon the auto manufacturers/regulators/lobbyists/??? will conspire to keep such vehicles off the market.

    • Hi clbrto,

      It’s also a “conspiracy” of the debt slaves; the working majority of people who literally buy into all of this. Who want whatever they can finance and don’t care about being in debt all their lives. Because of them, the rest of us are effectively carried along. It is very difficult to find a car without a touchscreen, for instance – and these are not (yet) mandatory as far as government mandates.

      • So what’s the cure? Banning car loans? Changing human nature, so yuppie pretenders don’t care about looking wealthier than they are? I don’t see how to solve the problem.

          • Bill, we live in a time when more people are more edumacated than ever before. Some of the most evil people in history were among the most highly educated. This very system of economics and politics is the product of the educated.

            Education can not instill wisdom, morality, nor the constraint of one’s nature. It seems as though the last 50 years or so, in which people started idolizing education, is when things started going south in spades.

        • You make an excellent point, Tom. Human nature is the problem- with virtually EVERYTHING. Even a SHTF/Economic crash/Nukular holocaust ain’t gonna change that. The people who are left would just pick up the pieces and start over again, doing the very same things which people have been doing throughout history, as it’s only a tiny minority who recognize the true problem, and at least seek to overcome it in themselves- but are none-the-less powerless to do so when it comes to others- and all such attempts at such only lead to even greater evils.

      • Eric: I luv the back up camera, probably prevents lots of fender benders, esp for women drivers. I still cannot find the flush toilet in the fully loaded Kia sorrento. Have been trying to find it for sometime. The butt/back warmers are great. People should pay cash for a car. We do w/trade.

      • Apropos, If I’m not mistaken the stripdown 2018 Tacoma does not come with a manual
        trans. You can not get it on this model according to Toyota website. What a frackin bummer!

        • Hi Art,

          I’m not surprised; blame CAFE – that is, blame the government workers and others who are behind using the government’s muscle to impose fuel efficiency mandates on us.

          Automatics can be programmed to squeeze out a bit more mileage on the EPA test loop – and this is why manuals are disappearing.

  14. It has NEVER ceased to amaze me how so many people just non-chalantly accept the idea of being in debt for YEARS to buy a car- new or used! It would be bad enough if cars were something you could finance for a few years, and then keep them for 20 years…..but today, a car is essentially functionally obsolete as soon as the warranty ends.

    This debt thing isn’t something that was forced upon society from the top, down, either. People willingly did it when cars were cheap and simple, so they could drive newer and nicer than what they might otherwise be able to afford. This just made it easy for the powers that be to start spewing all the mandates and such, since the majority of people were already financing their cars.

    But I just don’t get it. I’m 55 years old, and have never financed a vehicle. I drove hoopties when I was younger- sometimes with holes in the floor- but most were quite reliable. Sure, they didn’t impress anyone….but why would i care whether or not someone was impressed because I could go to a stealership and make a purchase, and in-turn indenture myself for YEARS to come?

    I’d buy a car for a few hunnert bucks, and I was FREE! And I am more confident that those who profess to like me, do so because of the content of my character, and not because I drive a “cool” car. (Although my old F250, and Excursion, are plenty cool to me!)

    This proclivity of people to indebt themselves is no different than their willingness to give up their most basic rights and self-respect at the hands of the TSA to fly, or any of the other concessions they make. They just don’t care. Their behavior becomes the norm, and so the market and TPTB cater to them. Why build cheap simple cars when ya can build uber-expensive ones festooned with a bunch of junk which will render them economically and functionally obsolete, AND through which Uncle can affect their control, when the average person has no objections whatsoever, and doesn’t even give such things a passing thought?

    We “tin-foil hat” folk are just an insignificant minority…. We tell them what’s coming, economically and politically- and they don’t believe us. And then when it comes, they blame us because we “Didn’t buy enough crap and take on enough debt” to support their Rube Goldberg economy……….

    • Morning, Nunz –

      I am exactly the same. I could finance a new car; but the idea of being in debt for years – that hanging over my head – disturbs me. I never could understand how so many people glibly sign up to be slaves for most of their working lives. Not realizing that they have to work – often at jobs and in places they hate – precisely because they freely consented to be debt slaves. I know people who spend literally two hours every day grinding their lives away in horrible traffic to go to cube job in the city so that they can make the payment on that car they’re driving and then go home at night – eventually – to that McMansion on its 1/4 acre lot, which they’ll have paid off (maybe) 30 years from now, just in time to be shipped off to the Old Folks Home.

      • Hi Ya, Eric!

        Oh, man! I KNOW people like that- One back in NY often spends 4 hours a day just commuting! $450K house (That’s a CHEAP house there), almost $10K property taxes; a new vehicle for he and his wife, who each make $60K.

        They are wasting their lives. Commute. Work. Sleep. Repeat ad-infinitum. And they call this “prosperity” because they get to see numbers on paper and have 2 shiny vehicles in the driveway. First downturn and one loses their job, they’re screwed.

        • Those are the kind of people that just ruin things for everyone else by bidding up prices because they can ‘make the payments’. Just say ‘no’. Walk away. Prices would fall if enough people did that. But no, they just sign up for debt slavery. Why do people do that to themselves?

          I baffled a recruiter because I was not interested in a $130K job in california in an area where that $450K gets one a manufactured home. Talking $780K to $1.5 million for a typical house best I could tell. Yeah, after the higher cost of living, taxes, and interest payments it would be a pay cut and living seven figures in debt. What’s 4.5 percent on say 1.25 million? $56,250 a year in -interest-. What’s left? That’s like the entire post tax income on a $130K/yr.

    • I guess its a commonality with those who visit this site – because I too have never financed a car. I learned very early on that debt is slavery and savings are freedom – so I started saving early.

    • It’s women I think. Ever notice that today’s financially responsible (in the way we define it) man is almost always single? There are only so many financially responsible women to go around and probably only about one for every ten financially responsible men. Maybe it is not that bad but it seems like it.

      Women in general will literally pass over a man with a top 10% income if he isn’t debt financing a lifestyle and appearance that keeps up with those of his income that do. A top 10% income these days makes a man look poor if he lives without debt. Thrift is considered unattractive. The word used is ‘cheap’. So to compete for women one has to debt finance.

      • I am a financially resp. woman, retired and handle finances, investments, etc. if I was single, I would want to interact w/men w/o debt or baggage, meaning mature men not supporting slacker adult kids and g’kids (losers) which many are doing. If young and starting out, I would want someone w/o debt, incl college debt, thrifty and hard working and like me, hates debt. Must have a minimalist mindset (not a pack rat). I have dumped friends when I found out they were supporting slacker over 18 kids, raising g’kids (losers again) and/ or hoarders in filthy houses/garages. These losers are in debt and dysfunctional.

        • Exactly, Laura Ann! I have no respect for people like whom you describe. Once you see those tell-tale signs, it says more about their character (or rather: lack thereof) and true ideals and philosophies, than mere words could in 10 years.

      • Men are passing women up, too. Real men don’t want to have anything to do with the modern woman. Women just don’t serve much of a purpose anymore. They’ve become entitled, narcissistic, and materialistic. They also want to be like men. Feminine women are becoming a rare find. Good luck finding one that wants to be a homemaker.

        The men I see getting married are the beta males. In some cases, they’re the macho man-children type, caricatures of men. This used to be fiction. Remember that TV show in the 70s where the gender roles were reversed?

        You know, those realistic sexbots are gonna sell like hotcakes.

        • Used to be, you married a woman and she took your name, because she was yours. Your helpmeet; your homemaker; your companion; your completion (The person who complimented you by being suited to doing all of the things which you as a man are not suited for- thus freeing you to do what you do best- and thus we made one complete whole; one unit; a family(.

          Now, a woman is just someone who is “independent” and who competes with you; and who is your “partner”- so their is no leadership [or if there is, it is now called “abuse”], and you each do your separate things outside the home, and then share the inside the home stuff 50-50….and yet not as much as half gets done as what used to when women were wives…..

          Many of us non-betas have figured this out quite some time ago. Apparently, it’s getting even worse out there, because a significant number of others seem to be catching on, and now we even have a movement- MGTOW.

          Seems like the only men getting married today, are those who are willing to sacrifice themselves, and all that they have or will ever have, for the prospect of regular sex. And how soon does that get old? Usually about as long as it takes for a new car to become just “your car”.

          • Hi Nunz,

            As a guy who was married for a long time and is recently divorced, I can “amen” all you’ve written. I’m not interested in “partnering” with a man who happens to have female equipment. I’d rather just rent the equipment, when the need arises. That sounds rough, I realize. But – as you’ve written – what is the appeal of a Modern Woman to a guy like me? I’d like a wife, possibly a mother. Someone to help me care for our home and to build our family. I’ll work – and handle that end of things. Someone who – if we were to marry – would view that as a commitment for life, absent something unconscionable or criminal, such as physical or sexual abuse.

            It is beyond foolish for a man who has that mindset – that marriage is a commitment for life – to marry a woman who does not share that commitment absolutely. And if she doesn’t share it, why marry her? So she can leave whenever she decides she is no longer “happy”? This is the
            reality of marriage today, no matter the vows spoken on the wedding day.

            Meanwhile, the man has staked everything – and now loses not just his financial security but is also emotionally scarred for life in that the person he would never have abandoned abandoned him. Trusting another women is now impossible.

            This business is at the core of the rot that has turned men – like me, at least – off to the idea of marriage. The reneging on commitment is much worse than transient problems within a marriage, even “cheating.” That can be fixed, if the couple remain committed equally to their marriage. But once one or the other is no longer committed 100 percent to the marriage, there is no more marriage.

            And it seems that it’s mostly women who decide they no longer wish to honor that commitment.

            In which case, we get back to the nut of the thing: Marriage is a bad idea if the parties to the contract are not committed to it “till death do us part.”

            Marriage has become a matter of convenience. In which case, why marry? Keep the woman around – on your terms – for as long as it suits. When it no longer does, there’s the door.

            This is brutal and sad – but it’s the only way for men to avoid emotional/financial devastation resulting from a marriage that the women decides one day no longer suits her.

            • Eric, I imagine you stopped serving your intended purpose to your wife. So she left to go find someone who would fill the intended purpose, which was probably a wallet.

              Women are not compatible with the libertarian lifestyle. The state has given women such artificial power over men, that none won’t use that power for their benefit. Even the ones that come here, and talk the talk. I’d bet, in a random fit of emotion, all would use the state to enforce their temporary will upon their “lovers”. All would call on the state evoke a divorce, get you arrested, kicked out of your house, split your bank account, get alimony, child support, because at the end of the day, it’s about money.

              • Brandonjin, you are SO right!

                Even if a woman does not avail herself of all of those things; just the artificial power it gives them, ruins the whole premise of interdependence upon which marriage was based.

                The woman knows that she has that power- so she acts differently towards men; and even chooses different men- men which she would not have had she not had that artificial power, but now she can have excitement and danger….and then call in Uncle when she’s had enough, and ruin the rest of that guy’s life. Men can now be a plaything for any woman.

                And even the more sincere woman who makes better choices….she still has that power, and she knows it, and the man knows it too- so both of their actions and their relationship are artificially throttled, because of the specter always hanging just above their heads.

                Most women are inherently unhappy, materialistic, and socialistic creatures (Which is why we see so few on Libertarian sites)…give them the mechanism to blame men for their unhappiness, and the ability to use their discarded men to feed their materialism and make them happy by providing all of the benefits of having a good man, without having a man….and they are more miserable than ever- only now they get to make men miserable too…for the rest of their lives.

                Many men have become virtual slaves to the family court system. I can’t fathom why so many keep going on, and even seek out new wives, and have more children with them!

                I didn’t know these things when I was younger- but like Eric said also, I at least did have the sense to avoid women who did not appear to take commitment seriously, and who were not on the same page philosophically with me- thank goodness, because it helped me to avoid what has to be the biggest pitfall in this life!

                I can think of nothing worse than devoting your all to someone who it turns out did not give you the same. And as if that breach of commitment isn’t bad enough, you then have to PAY for their breach of contract!!!! They tell you how “equal” they are, and how they want to find themselves…and then do so on your dime!!!

  15. Great article, Eric!

    You’re absolutely spot-on about the debtor/entitlement class ruining it for smart people that live within their means. Thanks to them, we now have certain mainstream brands putting all of their time and energy into $40k-$80k crossovers, trucks, and SUVs.

    The new Expedition has a base price of $51,965 with Platinum-trimmed models going over $80k. Bear in mind, this is from a brand that’s supposed to be for Middle America. This is how insane this has become. I can remember when Suburbans were only slightly more expensive than the cheap, affordable C-10. That, of course, was in a completely different world from today. If you’re living within your means and really need that type of vehicle, your only option is used. Ford and GM no longer want our business.

    It’s really depressing that most people worship image over financial freedom. Government schooling and the media-entertainment complex is to blame for this. Financial control is a big part of the plan….

    • Morning, Handler!

      Thanks for the kind words, first of all. Like you, I am appalled by current trends. It is no longer possible to buy a 1500 work truck – with a V8 and 4WD – for less than $30,000. Add in the property tax on such a vehicle (not all states have this, but several do) and the insurance (unavoidable) and how anyone affords such a vehicle who isn’t very affluent escapes me. And by “afford,” of course, I mean exactly that. Not finance.

      My mom bought (financed) one new car after another; lived in a big (heavily mortgaged) house in an expensive neighborhood. She now lives in a very small apartment on Social Security. I have an old truck, an old car; some old bikes – all paid for in cash at the time of purchase. None of them cost a fraction of what my mom spent (financed) to get her new cars. My house is modest and in The Woods. But it’s my house – or as close to that as one can get in the U.S.

      I hope and plan to never be dependent on Social Security – if it even exists when I am “eligible” to become a parasite on my fellow men.

      There’s no magic trick here. Just buy what you can afford to buy – and avoid (and pay down) debt. Very few people need a new car; they want one. I have wanted a deTomaso Pantera since high school. But I haven’t got one because I won’t go into debt to get it!

      • If it wasn’t for debt based consumerism and all the damn taxes to support other people I could be living off interest right now. Doing what I wanted to do every day through thrift. But thrift is considered a vice today. One which is punished.

        I am considered strange by other people because I have so many cars. Yeah, I have more cars than probably one person ‘should’ but what I don’t have is a car payment. Fleet average age is something about 22 years now. The only car I ever got a loan on (paid off in ~2 years) turned 21 recently. The ‘consumer’ never keeps their vehicles anywhere near that long. They consume them.

        In another automotive forum there are repeated articles that touch on financing a car and the comment thread becomes one of finance the car and invest the cash. Every time I ask the same question, what is the safe investment that returns more than the loan costs? I get a bunch of hand waving about the stock market going up over the long term but never the safe investment that earns more. So pay cash. That’s an automatic ‘return’ of what the loan would cost. Tax free too since investment and interest gains are taxed.

        I don’t get these people. Sure risk investments may pay more, but not paying interest is the surest ‘investment’ there is and it pays a pretty damn good rate for that level of security and a zero tax burden.

      • It’s not like their lives are that fabulous. My brother (a debt slave) blows money on meaningless electronic gadgets, eats out constantly, and takes Disney trips every few months. New cars every few years. He’s also gone through several homes for no reason. He’s never happy with anything. Nothing is ever special. They say instant gratification destroys the meaning of life. We see how unhappy many Hollywood stars are/were, and they had it all! I personally love saving and having long-term goals to look forward to. I like having special things to look forward to and savor that create lasting memories. That’s what keeps me going.

        I don’t see how these people can sleep at night knowing they’re under the gun. I could not live like that.

        • Wow, Handler! VERY well said!

          I feel so sorry for the kids of these people, too. The parents buy them a brand new car when they’re 16 or 17. Like you say, they have nothing to look forward to; they never learn to appreciate the value of anything; nothing is special; and they live the rest of their lives slaving for bigger and better, in the quest for happiness, which never comes, because things don’t make ya happy!

          And it’s not just the “rich” anymore, either. My idiot niece went into debt on a low-paying blue-collar salary, to buy her son a late-model car; paid for his insurance; and even bought him gas. He destroyed several cars…and she’d buy him MORE! Meanwhile, the kid was nothing but a worthless druggie, and now in his early 20’s is off to prison.

          I thank God that growing up, I really got to appreciate the value of things; the necessity of taking care of things; and the specialness of having even what others would consider modest.

          In my 20’s, a family friend gave me a 20″ push mower (which he picked from the scrap pile of a scrap metal place) with which to mow the 1/3 acre I lived on at the time. I loved it! I didn’t need anything fancy or new or special. I had something that cost NOTHING; it served me well and did the job; and I enjoyed mowing with it. Today…a Mexican wouldn’t even spit on that mower…and you would NEVER see anyone who lives in the area where I used to live mowing their own lawn!

          It’s also amazing how well you can really live on very little. Choose a place with a low cost of living; Buy a place you can pay cash for; avoid ANY and all debt. And minimize taxes/keep your income below taxable level. I live better than anyone i know (And everyone I know makes many times the money I do!)- and the best thing is: I have time to enjoy my life. We only pass this way once. Time is our most valuable commodity. Maximize it!

          I wonder if “normal” people who fritter away their lives paying bills, interest and taxes, look back on their dying day and finally regret that they wasted their lives? Nah…they’re probably so clueless, they probably regret that they didn’t pursue even more money and more and better possessions!

          And things they fritter their money away on! Gadgets! Booze! Parties! Higher indoctrination for their kids!(Pay good money to send your kid to some college where they will live communally with their peers and a bunch of liberal burnt-out ex-hippie teachers, while engaging in daily Bacchanalias, and being relieved of their common sense and told that their parents are racist pigs and are the problem with America!)……

          • Hey Nunz, I’m debating whether the money I’m saving would be best served buying me some land/a house, or if I should put that money into investments that will pay dividends, in the hope of leading to a retirement.

            There is a school of thought that buying a house will further make you a slave to an “object” like having to mow the lawn every week, repair what breaks, defend it, clean it, etc. Since time is the most valuable commodity, shouldn’t we outsource all these things by living in a condo or something?

            Now I hate HOAs and I hate neighbors. I want a house with a large barrier of land or forest surrounding me from the world, but then that means I have to spend a lot of time caring for it in various ways. What is your take?

            • Hey, Brandonjin!

              The way I see it: I would never invest in traditional investments, because by investing in the corporate/banking system we are essentially using our resources to enrich and perpetuate organizations which have a vested interest in perpetuating the state. It’s essentially like making unsecured loans to our enemies.

              Where our treasures are, there will our hearts be also. (-Jesus Christ)

              Also, considering that there are no guarantees of increase (or even breaking even) with investments[ and that any increases are taxed; and that our investment transactions are recorded and monitored by the state….etc. I personally would burn my money sooner than hand it over to their system.

              To me, land is the only truly valuable thing. Even that is compromised, thanks to government- but still, if we choose wisely, it can still be our greatest asset; not necessarily in terms of “making us money”, but rather in procuring freedom.

              Having land in a rural area where they do not have things like xoning and “code enforcement”; and where property taxes are low, not only affords one a place of their own, free from the presence of unwanted people- but it means that we can be economically self-sufficient- or at least partially so- to what ever degree we wish- i.e. if we have a few acres of woods on our land, we’ll always have firewood; in open spots we can grow food; if we have pasture, we can have livestock (Fresh organic meat, milk, eggs…) and we can basically do what we want- which is no longer possible anymore in pretty much any urban/suburban or even semi-rural areas.

              Taking care of our stuff (Mowing the grass, etc.) is not slavery…unless someone is forcing us to do it (Which, in some places, is now the case) any more so than is changing the oil in our vehicles. (I may be prejudiced though, as I LOVE mowing! I currently mow off about 5 of my acres….I could just let it grow, but I enjoy riding around on my 60″ zero-turn mower, listening to oldies on my MP3 player- and then seeing how nice the place looks after a couple of hours of that relaxation! It’s heaven, I tells ya!).

              But the thing is: There are no free rides in life. Whether making money, or maintaining vehicles or appliances; or building a house; or mowing the grass, everything we do to sustain our lives, we either do personally, or pay someone else to do.

              Me? I like to a lot of it myself- as not only do I enjoy doing stuff, and ensure that it gets done right/the way I want it…but it’s a lot more efficient than having to earn money, on which someone is making a profit on your labor…and then having to pay people to do stuff, who have to also make a profit on what you pay them; and plus the money is getting taxed at every turn.

              Cutting out all of the different levels of profits and taxes, means a lot less work, because by doing things directly, you are doing them for yourself.

              That’s why I don’t like investments, too- because just handing over devalued money (Profits and taxes having already been taken) and expecting it to come back with more than what you sent it out with, while doing nothing….is essentially the same thing we all complain is immoral when the bankers do it.

              But the main thing to me, -and I’ve long said this: Is that the absolute MOST we can do to help promote freedom and thwart the state, is simply to not participate. I view investing in the corporate/banking system to be about the MOST one can participate- second only to being a politician!

              Just my take… Thanks for asking. Hope you enjoyed my rant! 😉

              • Nuncio,
                Thanks to banking regulations passed during the Obama administration, any deposit to any federally insured financial institution is an ipso facto loan thereto where the depositor becomes an unsecured creditor.

                • Exactly, Bill!

                  I have a checking account that I keep maybe a grand or two in at any given time. Other than that, I don’t do business with any banks or financial institutions.

            • Thanks for the reply Nunz, you make many good points, especially regarding the added layers of profit each party adds when you outsource. Doing it yourself does mean you have to earn less money, making it more efficient in that way.

              This is the dilemma I’m trying to deal with:

              The contrary to this is a lesson in economics, which may or may not apply here. Each country could make their own food, cars, and computers. Or Country 1 could make all the food, 2 all the cars, and 3 all the computers. They then trade. Thanks to economies of scale, more is produced at a cheaper price.

              Shouldn’t we “stand on the shoulders of giants”, and let those who are efficient and experts at their trade do what we could do, but with less time and (sometimes) financial efficiency?

              This is a version of the whole “jack of all trades” vs “specialization” debate.

              Taking care of stuff, like cleaning, fixing, mowing, is like the law of atrophy. In order to maintain a standard, I must expend my finite time, energy, and money. It takes even more energy to progress beyond the standard, with atrophy constantly eating away at everything. I cannot expect everything to last, but it seems like so much time, energy, and money in life (and society) is just spent on maintaining the baseline. Adding something else to the mix, a lawn-mower and mowing the lawn, means even more time, energy, and money are expended to maintain a standard. This is freedom from government but not freedom from the law of atrophy – one must constantly fight to maintain possessions. I hope I articulated that well enough to portray what I’m trying to say.

              Interestingly, I don’t mind cleaning or servicing my car, even though there is no difference.

              A large plot in the middle of nowhere sounds like heaven. Jealous of your 5 acres.

              I respectfully disagree with the view that making money from investments is immoral. You are paid capital gains and dividends for owning portions of the company, and for taking the risk that the company/investment could fail.

              Of course I do realize that most companies stand to benefit from perpetrating the system. I do what I can to not support the system, but I’m in a particular mode/mood right now where I can’t spare the willpower to fight it to any further degree. I’m not a perfect libertarian or human being, still trying to figure all this out. But I’m always consuming libertarian content. I can’t endure anything else!

              Thank you again for your opinion, I always enjoy your rants. Hope mine wasn’t too bad.

              • Hi, Brandon,

                Oh, you’re encouraging me in one of my favorite subjects!

                First, I agree: There is nothing wrong with profiting from the capital gains of others for the use of your money. But the problem is, in today’s world, it’s not a free capitalist market.

                Corporations are “artificial persons” created by the government; and constrained to abide by all of the government’s laws and policies- even ones which wouldn’t pertain to normal people, because such is the price they pay in exchange for being granted “artificial personhood” and special privileges, such as shielding their owners from liability, etc.

                Such would not even exist in an anarchist world.

                And what’s more, these corps always engage in activities which destroy our freedom- because they are not concerned with promoting liberty, but rather just with making money- e.g. an insurance company which lobbies to enact mandatory insurance laws; or a real-estate development co.; retailer; utility, etc. which avails itself of eminent domain laws; or financial institutions which take advantage of the fractional reserve system….etc.

                Personally, I am greatly opposed to such things, and certainly don’t want to support those who perpetuate them. The prospect of maybe getting enough back on my money to keep pace with inflation, for doing nothing, doesn’t sway me. Why should we expect to make a profit when we haven’t produced a product or service, or added to the value of something?

                Oh, and I actually have 28 acres…I just mow off 5 as a lawn : ) (I keep increasing the size of the area I mow off every year!)

                And now there is something to be said about the efficiency of specialization, on certain scales. Instead of me growing 30 different things and my neighbor growing the same 30 different things, if we each grew five main things, and traded with each other and others around us, it is a lot easier. Or if I raise angora wool, and another neighbor specializes in dying; and another in weaving; and another in knitting, etc. we can get a lot more accomplished than each individual tries to do everything on his own- although we do give up a little autonomy.

                But on larger scales, like on a national or international level, we may indeed get some benefits- like being able to eat oranges in the winter…but a lot of the benefits are eaten up by things like transportation and tariffs- and by a lot of things which may not be obvious right away, but are in fact great detriments- like the necessity of driving peasants off of their land and into cities, so there will be a ready source of cheap labor; or, the taxes we pay for the transportation infrastructure, etc. In this way, the true costs of this international trade are hidden….but if the average person realized what it was really costing them, they’d be horrified.

                And not to mention, that by taking everything out of the hands of individuals and families and small local businesses, it gives our overlords many opportunities to enact more control.

                It wasn’t that long ago- in my mother’s and aunts and uncles lifetimes, that many things were produced locally- even in NYC. Food was grown a few miles from the city, and so it was fresh, and transportation was minimal. Many items were produced within the city or nearby; and pretty much everything else was produced somewhere in America- often by a company that was owned by a person or family- instead of a giant conglomerate.

                Technology may have been at a lower level then…but life was at it’s best. We had a functional economy, and more people lived at a higher standard of living than at any other time.

                Growing up in the 70’s, I still got to experience the remaining remnants of that world. You’d go into a local store, in the downtown area of your town, where you’d know the owners by name and talk to them. You’d buy something, and it may’ve been made 50 miles from where you live.

                Now we have Walmart. I get disgusted every time I go there.

                • “Technology may have been at a lower level then…but life was at it’s best. We had a functional economy, and more people lived at a higher standard of living than at any other time.

                  Growing up in the 70’s, I still got to experience the remaining remnants of that world. You’d go into a local store, in the downtown area of your town, where you’d know the owners by name and talk to them. You’d buy something, and it may’ve been made 50 miles from where you live.

                  Now we have Walmart. I get disgusted every time I go there.”

                  So true, Nunzio. We’ve truly regressed. The corporate state has dramatically lowered our living standards. Almost everything has become heavily centralized, disposable, and soulless. How is that good for the environment? Remember when a lot food items were stored in reusable glass bottles and jars? Now we have chemicals from the plastic leaching into our food.

                  It’s downright scary how centralized the food industry has become. You know the insurance and medical cartels love the masses having limited access to quality and healthy foods. If Trump actually cared, he’d abolish the corrupt FDA. Does he not realize Big Food, Big Pharma, and the insurance mafia are the major players in destroying the quality of life for Middle America?

                  • Ya know, Han,

                    Materially and financially speaking, I’ve got more “wealth” now than i ever have had [which isn’t much by modern standards!]….

                    I was dirt poor in the 70’s….but ya know? I felt So MUCH RICHER!

                    We were richer as a society and a culture- and I don’t mean in dollars and cents- but in the fact that you could walk into a store- just about any store, and still find tons of quality well-made products…..and people were so much nicer, and saner…and not zombies walking around with their heads buried in a phone or calling the fuzz because the neighbors kids were playing outside with adult supervision!

                    Man, what we have lost!

                    And the sad thing is, it’s not just the young’uns who are afflicted with the modern evils…but even the people I grew up with, and even older…. There truly is something acting upon their collective minds. [And I think we all know what that is…]

              • Hi Brandon,

                I did a thing similar to what Nunz did. I spent about ten years working my ass off in the Big City, all the while hoarding as much money as I could. I lived an ultra-cheap lifestyle. I didn’t go out much – my friends did. I saved the money they spent on drinks and new cars. I bought a house that I calculated had to go up in value given various factors. I spent a lot of sweat fixing this house up while I lived in it.

                When I figured I could sell and get a good price – enough to let me buy a house (and land) outright in a much less expensive, far more rural area – I did exactly that.

                I bought (not financed – bought) my current house and the land it sits on with the proceeds from the sale of the old one. I now live in The Woods – literally. But I own land, 16 acres adjacent to hundreds of acres of woods. I can stand naked in my own backyard with a gun, drunk – and shoot old TVs. No worries. This is priceless.

                I can also live on very little – which is why I am able to do this. EPautos, I mean. I could not do this if I still lived in Northern Va. I’d have no choice but to sell out and work for The Man, for the mainstream media.

                Now, mind: I do not have “health insurance.” And I have an old truck. I wear old clothes and live what many would consider a “redneck” or “hillbilly” life. But I am not a debt slave and even though I can’t avoid Uncle’s hands in my pockets, not having to also have the bankers’ hands in my pockets make it much more tolerable.

                • Amen, Eric!

                  We can’t change the world around us, and it’s never-ending implementation of more and more tyranny- but by living as you and I do, we can certainly minimize our exposure to the tyranny, and live as free as is humanly possible in the developed world.

                  We enjoy a lifestyle which is unknown and unattainable to 99.5% of Americans, regardless of socio-economic level. -Just because we care enough to want to preserve our liberty, and are willing to live in a manner in which we practice the values which are compatible with such- such as avoiding debt and living within our means.

                  Not being shackled to a traditional job is probably THE single most liberating ideal a person can pursue. Economic servitude is just as bad political servitude- and I believe that many people, by engaging voluntarily in the economic, thus become more tolerant of the political.

                  Not having health insurance is liberating too. Most of our fathers and grandfathers didn’t have it, and made out quite fine. Many lately have it, and are not making out so fine. Much of modern medicine is a scam- and is detrimental to our health- like tests which test for diseases by detecting antibodies in our blood- which means our bodies are fighting off something. When a doctor sees this, he puts the patient on medicines which compromise the immune system’s response, and which do the very same thing your body was already doing…only the medicines don’t do it as well. Sometimes, the disease is/was warded off, so they consider the treatment a success (But it would have been anyway, had you not gone to the doctor- the fact that your body was making the antibodies which made you test positive for the disease is proof that your body was already taking the proper course)- or the medicines may not do as well, and their artificial signal to your body that it need not fight the disease any longer, means that the disease gets worse…and then you need their surgery….but that’s another subject….

                  All I know, is that I’ve stayed away from doctors my entire adult life.- ‘cept for the eye doctor, for a congenital problem which was made far worse by their “treatment” when I was a kid- so now they have me as a customer for life. (And I pay cash, and it’s a fraction of what insurance premiums would cost- never mind deductibles and co-pays and all of that!)

                  • Nun, I ordered some astathaxin. It will be here in a week and I should know how much it helps sight in a couple more. I’ll keep you posted but remind me it’s you I want to relay to.

                    • Hmmm, had to Google that, 8 -never heard of it. Thanks.

                      My Coke-bottle doc is into natural-supplement type things- I’ve tried things like vitamin K and Lutein….trouble with me is, I got so many things gone haywire in the peepers, that a lot of times anything- Rx or natural, that I take to help one problem, has the opposite effect on another problem. Plus all the scar tissue from many operations when I was a kid, means pretty much nothing helps.

                • Okay, here is my rant. I live in Memphis. I am retired and I currently live comfortably off Socialist Security.

                  I know this is old age welfare but for 50 plus years my wages and earnings were stolen by the state in the form of (sic) income tax and FICA. I started working when I was 14 and I have owned several businesses as well, Sawmills, Home Builder & Freelance IT work in the Point of Sale field. I am currently 65. To wit, I am just trying to recover my loses. 😛

                  I have no debt. While the house I live in is not paid for, I can easily make the mortgage payment and pay all my bills. My needs are manageable. While I would love to be outside of the city in the country with some land, I have to contend with members of my family and they want to stay in the city.

                  I realize living in the city during these perilous times means I have different priorities when it comes to protecting my family. Thus I have undertaken the necessary measures to make sure I can at least make sure of their escape to a safe location just in case the SHTF occurs.

                  My advice is to spend as much time as you can with progeny. If you can afford to land for them to grow up on and play on that would be great! I feel it is up to adults to make sure they rear their children as closely as possible to a moral code of live and let live. I currently have custody of my Great Grandson. I am going to make sure he grows up to be a man. I did this with my own son. He is a gear head, he loves cars & he wrenches on them. You can be damn sure he is not the sissy boy pictured in that despicable Libery Mutual commerical. He is now 39 and the father of two girls. He is a great dad and will make sure his girls grow up to be fine women despite the communist agenda in the pubic school system.

                  In the end we all die, it is up to you to determine what your life is worth living for. To each his own. For me it was to pass on a way of life to my children and moral code. I wasn’t entirely successful. Three of my children got it and are excellent parents. One was not. I think I got the best 3 out of four and I base my measure of success on that.

                  Peace.

                  • Hi NonYa,

                    I endorse all of that; I wish I’d had kids myself. Who knows, maybe. I’m not too old – yet. For now, I do my best to corrupt the youth by introducing them to old cars and heretical conversation. Their eyes fairly pop when they hear someone question the orthodoxies. This gladdens my arteriosclerotic heart immensely!

                    • Malnutrition is the only cause of arteriosclerosis.
                      Malnutrition and toxins are the only cause of all diseases, per Dr. Sherry Rogers. She cured herself of diseases that other doctors said were uncurable. She plays tennis everyday and she is over 70.

                    • Not true, Bill.

                      Malnutrition and or over-eating are no-doubt responsible for a LOT of sickness…but so are genetic defects; injuries; medical procedures (including vaccines); lifestyle, etc.

                      All the nutrition in the world isn’t going to prevent emphysema if you smoke 4 packs of Pall-Mall’s a day, as my sister did. (Not ragging on tobacco- I believe that in moderation, it can be beneficial).

                    • Nun, those genetic auto-immune problems are genetic. I’m a wild and crazy mof…and it’s the only thing that keeps me alive. OTOH, my sisters try/tried to do the right things as pharmacoloy deigns and now one is dead and the other is close.

                      I still push the envelop as hard as I can even though I suffer……but I continue to live.

                      MY cousin asked when I was going to retire. I thought about it and said “When that front steer tire gives out and I can’t keep it out of that ravine/creek/real bad thing. So far, so good, even though I fought that blowout down to the bitter end and won….that time.

                    • I’m with you, 8. We weren’t meant to retire.

                      I’ve seen it so many times; Someone, regardless of whether they’re 60 or 85, can be energetic and healthy. They retire, and a year later, they’re either dead, or nearly so.

                      There are some guys around here, in their early 80’s and still messing with cattle…personally.

                      My mother’s SIL passed away recently. She was 97 and still going to work every day, running the string of small stores that her husband had left her.

                      I think attitude has a lot to do with it too. My mother’s 93. When she doesn’t feel good, she’s like “Oh well, we can’t live for ever”. It’s the hypochondriacs who die young- usually from taking the advice of the medical establishment, or from all the crap the doctors do to them.

                      Me? When it’s time to go, I’ll go. I’d rather just get it over with than spend years in marginal health, going to endless doctors, etc.
                      I don’t know that we can alter our longevity much…but we can determine our quality of life and health while we’re here…and that’s a biggie.

                      I think us northern Eye-talians live long because we’re just too stubborn to croak.

                    • I don’t see ‘retirement’ as sitting around. I see it as doing what I want to do instead of something that pays the bills but I would rather not do.

                      It’s the people who view it as sitting around doing nothing that have problems.

                • I loved the woods when I moved out of city. I thought “It’s unrestricted! I can do anything, live in a card board box, shit in a hole, burn piles trash lying around, then after a few years I started bitching “Someone needs to outlaw these card board box houses and trash piles!!!” The grass is always greener lol.

                  • There was this Injun woman living in an ancient mobile home about a mile from me. No running water; No electricity. Couple’a dead cars in what passed for a yard; an old horse trailer which would disintegrate if you tried to actually move it.

                    After coming from highly regulated NY where they get after people if they have a puddle in their paved driveway, all I could say was “I’m glad people here still have the freedom to live like that; and at least she’s not living in some subsidized HUD apartment at the taxpayer’s expense for $1000 a month”.

              • Hello Nunz, you’ve made some good points again, and given me some things to think about. I do try my best to avoid supporting the corporations who’s aim is to increase the state. I even have a boycott list. If I must purchase something, I generally buy used too, as much as I can.

                On a happier note, Eric and Nunz, all this talk of acreage has me excited for that possibility. Sounds like neither of you regret your decision to put money in your land/homes and not an alternative.

                “But I own land, 16 acres adjacent to hundreds of acres of woods. I can stand naked in my own backyard with a gun, drunk – and shoot old TVs. No worries. This is priceless.”

                That is freedom right there. That is something worth striving for.

                By the way Eric, I got a linkedin request from you. Not sure if you sent it or LinkedIn did on your behalf. I’m not sure if you got my email, but I didn’t delete you on LinkedIn, I deleted my whole account (along with all my social media).

                • Another thing to consider Brandonjin, if the SHTF and all government collapses due to bankruptcy, there is the possibility that the perpetual rent called property taxes might go away and you then the title holder will own the land outright. 🙂

                  • If bankruptcy could cause the failure of a government, there wouldn’t be very many governments in the current world.
                    Illiquidity is another matter.
                    Neither one is likely to leave the occupier the owner when the courts of appropriate jurisdiction get done with their arbitrage.
                    That was the purpose of allodial titles, which have been exterminated by fiat.

                    • It did for the former soviet onion. Quit being an ass.

                      I already want a block option so I don’t have to read your shit. If Eric can get his JOE IT guy to implement one, I’d “F’n” pay for it even though I am on welfare aka SS. It would be damn sure worth it!

                      If you will note Russia after the bankruptcy reset is on the rise and the united Socialist States of American isn’t. Why? No Jewish controlled central bank. You know what else? The Jewish controlled central banks hate that. It is why Christian Russia is being ostracized in the MSMedia today and all I have to say is, “You go Russia”!

                    • Exactly, NYB. And not just that, but the Rooskies, after having suffered for several generations under communism, are now very pro-freedom.

                      What freedoms they are re-acquiring, they are guarding quite zealously- and ditto many aspects of traditional Christian culture which the commies had long tried to exterminate.

                      Most Americans, on the other hand, don’t seem to give a damn about liberty. It’s a dead issue; as is any real aspect of Christian culture.

                      In American today, for the most part, any mention of liberty or Christianity, is purely in name only- but even the most basic concepts of each are completely foreign to the majority- even to those who loudly proclaim the words, and the misguided oxymorons which pass for the real things.

                  • Bankruptcy didn’t stop the third Reich. In fact, it was bankruptcy that spurred them to action. That is to say, organized killing and stealing on a grand scale – (also known as war) They won’t go gently into the night.

                  • Govt Bankrupt: never happen. Paper money can disappear but tanks and guns do not. “Iron, cold iron is master of them all”: Kippling

              • Funny thing too, Brandonjin, when I bought my land (and it was cheap- as it was just raw land- old cow pasture and woods in a very rural area) I didn’t do so with the intention of it being an “investment. Well, not financially, anyway- but only in my procurement of liberty and lifestyle/enjoyment [Isn’t that really the only benefit of having any money?] -but despite that, in the 16 years I’ve lived here, my property has appreciated somewhere between 3 and 4 times what I paid for it. We were never affected by the real estate bubble of c. 2008 here- so instead, the land just steadily appreciated.

                I live in a mobile home which I bought used for $12K- and it’s plenty good for me- and got one for my elderly mother, for $7K which is actually as nice or nicer than mine! (Right place, right time- just being here).-

                I sometimes get the bug to build myself a very modest house…but then I think, why? It would just make my almost non-existent property taxes go up- and since it would be a small/modest house, built to my own unique standards, it probably wouldn’t increase the value of my place very much when I sell and leave the country.

                It’s hard to even sell a small modest house….just like a car with manual tranny and windows….people would rather be in debt for 30 years, rather than live modestly.

                  • Much as I like the idea of the mobile lifestyle, fact is, not having ground on which you can stand and exclude all others; but rather being a trespasser on the ground of others- be it Walmart, or Uncles, or the local city/town, THAT is THE major impairment to liberty. Took me long to rectify that one…but what a difference it has made!

                    Years ago, when this was still America, I might well have been out there with ya, Bill. Minimalism and mobility, and seeing an experiencing different places always appealed to me.

                    • When the failure to have a street address designates me as a potential terrorist, as such does in the USAPATRIOT Act, I will proudly claim to be the infoterrorist they have made me into.

              • NoneyaBiz, I have weighed the risks of brokerage account confiscation with having zero control over property tax increases. I did not think however, that in the event of a SHTF crash, your 1’s and 0’s will be gone, but your land still there… if you can keep it. If you can defend it.

                Nunz, I think there are plenty of buyers like me, especially in the future (I know you know of MGTOW). I would be happy with a 1 bedroom 1 bath cottage, an underground bunker, or a cookie-cutter 3 bedroom 2 bath (even though I don’t really need the space) as long as the price is right and I got all that land surrounding me I can’t complain.

                JOhnny DOH, I have also considered renting as an investment vehicle. I then have to consider, do I buy the rental first or my residence? It is also and extremely high-risk game, in my opinion, from what I’ve researched. Not only the tenant aspect, but apparently finding a property that cash-flows even with non-abusive tenants and a <10% vacancy rate is very hard. Seems like it is all staked on getting it right the first time. If you make a mistake, it's very hard to get back in, considering the loss. I've actually tried to get jobs in this field and establish relationships with potential mentors just to learn this game, but I must settle for books.

                It is only rational to not invest in leftist/big-government areas. Investing in areas that serve the middle class and above should be good bets. I know, easier said than done.

                • Hi Again, Brandonjin,

                  Ah, yes….renting in a middle-class area…

                  That’s kind of a catch 22. You usually can’t get enough rent to justify the high cost of the place (and higher taxes) in such areas; and plus most middle-class types are capable of buying, which even for the short term, makes more sense than paying a high rent and having nothing to show for it.

                  You can usually spot the rentals in the middle-class areas…they’re the seedy-looking houses with the seedy-looking tenants- usual several people or families sharing one house, as the way to be able to afford living in an area they otherwise can’t afford.

                  My uncle has a house on Long Island (Well…maybe not…he’s been trying to sell it) which he built c. 1959, and used as a summer house, and then rents out to college teachers from Stony Brook University 9 months out of the year.

                  The only reason he makes any money is because the house is paid for- and still, the property taxes eat up more than 3 months rent. Last tenants did almost $30K worth of damage. He’s had enough now.

                  Between our now-radical government, and the fact that our culture is in melt-down mode, and everyone is insane…you can’t do anything in this freaking country anymore.

                • PS: If you ever did want to get into renting, large apartment buildings in good areas are the way to go!

                  Consider this: Where I used to live in Queens, a single-fambly or 2-fambly house (a few years ago) would easily run you $750K. Say you get a 2-fambly, which may generate $5K a month in rent. You’re wasting your money.

                  Meanwhile, at the same time, a NICE 60 unit brick apartment building was going for not even twice the price of that 2 family house!

                  It’s similar, but at much lower prices for just about anywhere. Single family houses are not a good investment for renting. In a place where you might get a mediocre house for $100K, you might be able to get a 6 unit apartment building for just a little more…… That’s where the money is in rentals.

                  My friend (same one who has the 5 houses in FL that I mentioned in another message) bought one side of a duplex in PA. for $3K, Yep…three-thousand bucks. He’s never even seen it in person. Put an ad on Gregslist[sic 😉 ]and found a family to rent it…. [Guess their race…]. They moved in, and never paid a dime in rent.

                  Not even worth messing with…he abandoned it. I just feel sorry for the poor old man who lives in the other half…his life must be hell now…..

                • Risk – get insurance. All my property is paid for. I have simply never sold a house. I have bought cheap houses. Every time I bought a new house I rented out the old one. I am 50 something years old and have three rent houses that bring in $3000 a month of income after all expenses. Buying and selling is also part of the plan. One time I made 150k profit selling a house, and bought a duplex and a single family residential with the money. So, you trade up one rent house for three in that case… etc…

                  • Insurance doesn’t cover damage caused by the tenants. If you [generic “you”, not you you…] have just plain homeowner’s on rental property and you have a major claim, they’ll deny it.

                    $3K a month net profit is damn good if the total value of all the houses is $300K or less.

                    • If you are trying to convince me that owning and renting out hard assets is riskier than the stock market, or doesn’t pay as well, That will be hard case to make. 30 years of land lording and house trading and not 1 regret. I don’t trust the Government nor the stock market.

                    • Me?!

                      I have no use for stocks. They suck as investments; and I am philosophically opposed to supporting the corporate-state military-industrial banking-finance cartel which participation in the stock market pretty much guarantees one would be doing.

                      I only invest in me, or in hard assets. In a saner time, I would have been all over real estate…but today, between the cretins ya have to rent to; the state; and the artificial forces affecting the market (We’re do for another bursting of the bubble) I’d rather stick with portanle things that can be traded purely on the free market without Uncle’s involvement.

                      If i had any investment RE right now I would sell it…and quick. (I said the same thing about Bitcoin back in December; I said the same thing back in 2000 when the stock market was at the pinnacle before the dot-com crash. I’ve been telling my friend in FL with 5 rental houses which he got cheap after the 08 crash, to sell YESTERDAY while he can still take a nice profit, ’cause soon they’ll only be worth what he paid for them or less. )

                    • Whatever floats your boat. ” they’ll only be worth what he paid for them or less.” Rent Houses are an inflation hedge. If they were to drop dramatically as valued in dollars, then I would pay less taxes. And when the dollar goes down in value I raise my rent.

                    • Johnny, some of the things you say make me think that you haven’t been doing RE very long, or at all.

                      Raise the rent all you want when the dollar goes down…but they’ll likely be no one to pay it- especially as all the rents around you go down.

                      The idea is, in today’s market where RE is NOT guaranteed to go up forever, to take a good profit when you can get it- i.e. if you bought a house at short sale after the last crash, for $50K which was once worth $130K pre-crash…and is now maybe worth $100K. Sell and take your $50K profit, before the next crash (Values are leveling off already)…before the house is only worth $50K again, or less…and it may never recover next time.

                      Then if ya want to stay in RE, take the $100K from the sale of that house, and after the crash, buy THREE houses with that.

                    • Been collecting rent for 30 years – no problems like you describe. However, I have no doubt you are spot on. Everything in life is risky. As far as “value” goes, I was simply pointing out – that everyone raises their prices when the expenses go up. this is why they say “businesses don’t really pay taxes” as they pass them on to the consumer. My main fear is that I will get sued for something stupid and lose everything I own. I really should form an LLC. When I have saved enough to buy my next rent house I think I’ll do that.

                    • Rental properties largely have to do with how the laws are where you are.

                      I nearly did it until I learned more about the laws in my area. But in a favorable area it would work well.

                • Nunz, your friend has absolutely terrible luck. I do like your apartment building idea. That is apparently what many landlords strive to own. But getting a loan for this is a lot harder than a loan for a SFH, or a condo or whatever. And if I could afford to pay cash for an apartment building, I wouldn’t need an apartment building. Hah. I do also agree… the culture being in “melt-down mode” is a good way to describe it.

                  Johnny, you have an interesting strategy. Never selling your prior homes. Never thought of that honestly. I’m glad this strategy has worked out for you, sounds like you’re pretty much set, another position I envy!

                  Brent, I don’t blame you for not trying the rental property thing in the Chicago area. High probability area for rent controls, riots, tax increases, etc. I’m sure you’re aware of all the risks and likelihood of failure for attempting such a thing. Something to be said for the central/southern part of this country. Bad as things are, they seem much better than the coasts, northeast, chicagoland, etc.

                  • Brando, if you do play in RE, always be on the look-out for multi-familys. It doesn’t have to be a 60-unti $1M+ building….

                    In a town near where I now live, there was a 4 unit building for sale for $60K. -Same price that one might pay for a rental house…but with 4 incomes.

                    You’d be surprised- you can often get multi-families for 40-100% more than a single- even in nicer areas. And believe it or not, if it’s a nice building in a good area, it’s actually much easier to find tenants for when ya have a vacancy.

                    Look into it. I’ve seen nice 10-unit buildings go for $275K in places where you’d pay nearly $200K for a decent single in a good neighborhood. And the multi’s tend to hold their value better- especially in recessions/crashes.

                    On the other hand, you want to avoid this: Guy my niece used to rent from, must own about 30 houses. Most if not all are financed- but it wouldn’t matter even if he owned them outright.

                    He makes a modest living at it….BUT, he bought all of the houses in the late 90’s and early 00’s. They lost a good deal of their value in ’08, and since have recovered about 1/2 way- so they’re essentially worth 75% of what he paid for them.

                    Let’s say in total he paid $1.5M for all the houses. They’re now worth $1.1M. So if the guy’s been making $40K a year for the last 10 years….he could have just stayed in bed and spent that $400K of his own(or borrowed) money over those 10 years….

                    People tend to forget about the overall value, and appreciation and depreciation. They concentrate on the cash flow or monthly income…but that’s like buying a new car and asking “How much are the payments?” instead of how much does the car cost.

                    Like any other investment, you have to buy low and sell high. Trouble often is, even when people do buy low, they fail to sell when it’s high, and a good profit could be taken…but THAT’s where the real money is- and NOT in collecting a few hundred bucks a month on an asset which is worth tens or hundreds of thousands (That is just to maintain the asset).

                    I would just caution, that the market is high now…and going to be going low soon…so even what may look like a good deal now, is not going to be so in the future. These are kind of unprecedented times. Many people are still operating under the mentality which worked 30, 40, 50 years ago…but that is no longer appropriate in these crazy times.

                    • Nunz! I do hope you’re right about the crash. It’ll be a great time to get in! (Though I’ll probably just be buying a plot of land for myself). Will have to wait another cycle or two to get in low on the multi-family investments.

                      I really just want it to happen already. Been hearing about this coming crash since 2014 or so.

                    • Hi Brandon,

                      If you can manage it, I recommend buying some land – just the land, for now. You can always build on it later. Get the acreage. As much as you can, as far from the Clovers as you can. In my neck, you can still get about 10 acres for about $50k. There are many areas where you can get it for much less.

                      The balance, of course, is getting it where you can readily get to it and – when you’re ready – where you’d like to live, too. Too far out and you’re too far away; too close – and i’s too expensive, etc.

                      But I’d look – and buy – as soon as you can.

                    • Get land and AG Exempt it! That is what I did. Bought 60 acres at 1k an acre 30 minutes from downtown houston ON the banks of the east san jacinto river. NO traffic on my 30 min commute to the woodlands. Never get below 80mph. Did get 60 feet of water in the hood when Harvey hit. Cleaned out 15 houses downhill from me. Got within 3 inches of my house. Bought flood insurance. LOL

                    • You got it, Brandonjin!

                      Having some land on which we can support ourselves, and so that we don’t have to rely on their system; and so that we can enjoy as much liberty as possible and an enjoyable way of life; and so that we do not have to be among the huddled masses in the populous areas, is of utmost importance at any time…but especially now.

                      Like I said, we are in unprecedented times. I don’t know if there will be a reset after t5he next crash, because that crash may be the reset. Things are grossly unsustainable the way they are, and it can’t go on forever.

                      Used to be that even in downturns, RE was largely unaffected….but the last 15-20 years, even RE has been cycling, which is a sign that at some point a major reset is in order, like the one during the Great Depression, from which it took decades to recover.

                      So yeah, not only is this not the time to buy for investment, but even after the crash, unless you have money to burn and are looking at the very long-term, I would only buy what would be of some personal use to me.

                      If the value of my land went down to 10 cents an acre, I wouldn’t care, as I can still do the exact same things, and live the exact same way do now, on that land.

                      Land is like the material version of anarchy. Once you’re an anarchist, you can never cease being an anarchist, because anarchy is the absolute truth, and you can not deny the truth.

                      Same with land. Once you have land on which you can be relatively free and exist apart from their system, living in that reality becomes your primary objective, and the money doesn’t seem to matter, because really, of what value is money when you already have that which can sustain your life, and that which affords you an enjoyable lifestyle?

                    • Yeah, I’m hoping I’ll be outta here before that happens Johnny!

                      It’s just a matter of time. Seen it happen where I’m originally from (but I didn’t own property there)- The taxes literally doubled every year.

                      And sheeple being what they are…there wasn’t much resistance. Ya only had a small element of older folks complaining…and once they moved out, ya never heard so much as a whimper.

                      At least here, for the time being, it can’t happen, ’cause incomes are WAY too low.

                      Ironically, we get much better service here for a few hundred dollars a year in taxes, than they do on Long Island for well over $10K per year.

                    • You’ve all been so very helpful with the insight and advice on this topic. Golden comments section and great ideas here. Thank you all.

                  • If I were going to be a landlord, I’d buy a motel instead of an apartment building, because the rights of a motel occupants are legally limitable by the contract that they sign, when they pay.
                    Motel rooms demand higher per diems than apartments, and the daily price is totally negotiable.

              • You don’t want to be a landlord today! Ubcle has made it so that renters and even squatters have more rights than the property owner.

                I have a friend who owns 5 rental houses in FL. Niggers moved into one, and never paid any rent. Took 6 months and $3K in legal fees to get them out. It’ll take years of good renters to make up for that…if a good renter can ever be found.

                Another of his houses, the deadbeats finally left after a few months of not paying…and took all of the appliances with them. Pigs: “Did you see them take them? Then we can’t do anything.”.

                One house he had steady tenants for about thrree years, who paid the rent and didn’t do any damage…but being responsible people, they didn’t need to rent forever, and ended up buying their own place.

                My friend got the houses dirt cheap after the RE bubble popped…and still can’t make any money. I told him not to do it. I tell him now to sell all the houses, FAST, as they have appreciated, and he could get out and actually come away with some profit….but I know him…he won’t do it, and prices are already leveling off where the houses are, and will again drop like lead.

                Not to mention property taxes; income tax; insurance; repairs; complying with all of the Nazi regs… (Can’t just replace that staircase by building an exact replica yourself…gotta get an architect to submit plans and apply for permits…to the tune of $1200….to replace the $250 staircase).

                My friend is making a small fortune. Of course, he started with a large fortune…. (He made that in the 60’s and 70’s, when it was easy to make money, when we still had somewhat of a free market)

                • Counties and cities are passing laws requiring landlords to take section 8. Section 8 is fine if one wants to be slum lord and likes that the government part of the rent will show up. Other than that its a big hassle and risk.

                  • Since that would constitute a taking, all the owners have to do is make a demand to pay fair market value for any losses caused by compliance with the laws.

                  • How SICK is that? That Section 8 even exists is bad enough….now it’s like “We already force you to pay for the rent of the deadbeats with your taxes; now we’re even going to require that you accept the deadbeats as tenants in your properties which you make a profit on which we take from you to pay their rent”!!!!

                    And Section 8 is crazy. You’d think that these ghetto-dwellers were prima donnas! If so much as a lightbulb is out, HUD with withhold your payment!

                    The cretin tenant can punch holes in the walls, and if you fix them right away….NO RENT FOR YOU! And just try getting rid of the tenants, or getting anything out of them for damages.

                • Honestly, the only down side to residential rentals is when you have to go look at the leak, or meet the ac guy, etc… I set aside $1000 a year of rent income per house for maintenance.
                  The up side, is that you cannot lose your principal. Even if the place burns down – you are only out of rent while the insurance company rebuilds it. AND you can even get loss of rent insurance. The first time one of my big positions went bankrupt and I just lost 20k overnight, I sold ALL my stock – and bought another rent house 🙂

                  https://www.gofundme.com/spend-all-my-time-drinking-beer

                  • Anything’s better than stocks!

                    House burning down would probably be about the best thing that could happen if you’re properly insured.

                    Tenants trashing the place; flooding it, etc. and the ins. co. not paying….that’s a biggie.

                    • It really isn’t as bad as people make you think. I tell people being a land lord is horrible, because I don’t want competition.

                    • Everyone I’ve ever known who was a landlord with single-fambly residentials, either went bankrupt, or is headed that way.

                      Only guy I knew who did good with rentals, was the guy with the 60-unit building in Queens…who used to be my landlord. He owned 3 such buildings. Damn, did he do good! -And that was even considering that he died well before RE values in Queens skyrocketed 140% almost overnight a few years ago. Had he been alive to see that, just the value of his buildings would have gone from c. $4.5M to over $10M.

                    • You can rationalize away any belief. Maybe every land lord you have ever known is an idiot? I mean, if you have a bad crack habit and tend to lose thousands a day in vegas, and rent to crack whores, then yeah. I can see bankruptcy in your future.

                    • Meh…you’ll see, Johnny. Single family houses as rentals are too inefficient. Worth too much for the rent they generate. Inefficient for maintenance, vacancies, insurance and taxes, etc.

                      Only amateurs mess with ’em.

                      Unless you are in some really unique magical place….

  16. Modern banking is a racket. The Federal Reserve banking cartel,which is neither Federal nor has any reserves,creates currency and credit out of thin air backed by nothing but Bonds created out of thin air that can buy real goods and services in the market. Basically paper backing paper buying real assets. That’s quite a racket. For every “dollar” that a bank has in it’s possession it can lend out 10 “dollars.” However the “dollars” that they lend out are just computer entries. There is no real money,which is gold or silver,lent out. Only facsimiles. However when a loan is repaid it must be repaid with interest. Thus the banks become rich and powerful off of the backs of their loan customers. In the end we have a nation of debt serfs. So whats the answer? Sometimes we have to borrow for big ticket items such as a house or a business or in an emergency. But its best to get out of debt as quickly as possible. Don’t live a lifestyle that you cannot afford. Instead of paying a bank interest make due with a lifestyle you can afford and save the bank payments for yourself. Pay cash when you can. If this involves driving an older used car,so be it.

    • Libertarian jerry, of course you’re correct. In the last couple decades I know people who’ve bought houses from other folks who financed them without interest. Decades ago my wife and sisters financed a house to a guy who paid for it in a few years. It was off the books and only a small contract bound each party. The women got a fair price, he got a house he wanted and no banks or lawyers were involved. Of course it worked to everyone’s advantage.

  17. “Debt financing also enables the economically irresponsible to drag the economically responsible into the red by raising the cost of everything and thus making it hard and often impossible as a practical matter for the economically responsible to avoid financial wastage.”

    This is an extremely valid point. I have observed this myself when participating in the housing and auto markets. There’s an old saying — “The buyer, not the seller, determines the price.” It’s true… but unfortunately, if I know what something is worth to me, and somebody comes along who is dumber than I am and is willing to incur debt to pay more, then that person determines the price, and raises the price for me as well.

    Although I am not in debt for ANYTHING, I am not anti-debt. Debt is a tool; it can be used wisely or foolishly. I am, however, against debt as a way of life, and against debt as a means to enable compulsive spending for immediate gratification. Most people aren’t.

    In fairness, I understand the arguments that “you only live once” and “there’s no time like the present.” I have foregone a LOT of stuff to stay out of debt. Sooner or later we’re all going to get to the end of the line and maybe wish we’d done things differently. Conversely, though, I have never been enslaved to debts I wish that I hadn’t incurred, either.

    • Hi X,

      As much as I criticize government mandates which have made cars (and so many other things) more expensive than they otherwise would be, I also must concede that a great deal of the problem can be laid at the feet of the working majority of “consumers” (I loathe that term, with its piggish connotations) are compulsive spenders and thus, perpetual debtors – and this debt-incurring drives up the cost of cars as much as the mandates do.

      I test drive new cars every week to review them. Heated seats are nice; a great stereo is nice. Power seats, windows, etc. – all becoming standard in almost every new car. But they do not come free.

      My old truck – a 2002 Nissan Frontier – has no power windows or locks or touchscreen or heated seats. It’s simpler – and crude – compared with any current year “economy” car. But it gets the job done for me – and I can live without the amenities now standard in pretty much every new car, because I’d prefer not to pay for them.

      But because most people willingly finance them, it is impossible to avoid them – assuming you want a new car.

      • Of course banks don’t loan money on older vehicles for the most part. It’s easier to simply say they’re not worth anything and get people for a big loan. I’m always amazed at how little people know about the transportation they depend on. But, as you point out, ignorance really isn’t an excuse. We can all have whatever knowledge we desire.

        I was noticing an old crewcab Frontier 4 WD last week at the convenience store that is full of us oilfield trash in the early am. It seemed really tiny, probably not even 4 ft of roof…but I bet it was paid for….long ago and I see it fairly much every day.

  18. If Americans don’t defend free speech, religious freedom, gun rights, freedom from unconstitutional searches and seizures, the right to silence, and the freedom from torture and extrajudicial assassination, what part of the Bill of Rights do they support?

    What country is this?

    http://f2bbs.com/bbs

      • Hi Bill,

        I don’t have much faith in these Oath Keeper people. They talk a good game, but they still man probable cause-free checkpoints, conduct warrantless searches, arrest and cage people who’ve harmed no one but who have been found to possess (or have bought/sold) arbitrarily illegal “drugs,” etc. And – fundamentally – they make their living just as the ordinary criminal does, using force to compel their victims to hand over money and obey their orders.

        I do not see how any person who understands the concept of rights can remain a government enforcer – whether as a mercenary dispatched to abuse foreign people or a mercenary dispatched to abuse his fellow citizens here at home.

        I realize this will come across as harsh to people – not necessarily you, just making an observation – who still think there can be such a thing as a “good” cop or soldier. But this is true only to the extent that they do not “do their jobs.”

        Ja?

        • Oath Keepers keep their oaths more commonly because they realize that they were once violating their oaths and have repented.
          Have you ever talked to Stewart Rhodes or Richard Mack? They have both admitted having made the mistakes they are trying to stop.
          Ignorance is the majority cause for the ills of our world. Those who work to increase instead of decrease ignorance are the worst actors in the system.
          Those who are motivated by malice instead of ignorance should be jailed for life.

          • HiBill,

            Agreed.

            Still, I think that once one realizes the nature of the thing – the inherent evil of being an enforcer of unjust laws, for instance – one has an obligation to cease earning (so to speak) one’s bread in that manner.

            I am in a sense more sympathetically inclined toward the deluded “hero” who actually believes he is doing the right thing.

            • Eric,
              In both of their cases, they were ignorant of the Bill of Rights when they weren’t enforcing them. Once they were, they were in a position to educate their fellows and turn a number of them around before they founded their organizations dedicated to doing so.
              Richard Mack used to be an undercover drug agent, and he is highly remorseful about what he did when he was ignorant.
              Stewart Rhodes served in the Gulf Wars. He is equally remorseful about what he did in ignorance, which he rid himself of in law school after receiving a medical discharge from paratrooping.
              Since they are both publicly ashamed of what they did in ignorance, they are far more worthy of forgiveness than those who not only bathed in their adulation as heroes who, after having been educated about the unconstitutionality of what they did, continued to act like Toby Keith, who practices jingoism like a BLM incites riots.
              There are no other organizations educating fellow oath takers besides Oath Keepers and CSPOA, and both of them are treated like pariahs every time they publicize their motives among LEOs.

          • Oh yeah. You have oathkeepers like sheriff Smith, in Smith county Texas who, last I heard about him, had rounded up 79 county suspects for “drug” charges. He’s the same Smith who was a BATFE agent at Waco….that little oathkeeper gathering of mass murderers…..regardless of age of victims.

            • Guess you never heard of the king of the hill, Joe Arpaio, a retired DEA agent and long term rights violator.
              Neither of them are members of the Oath Keepers, which you are apparently truly ignorant of, as an organization.

        • Yes. Imagine you are a Cop and you have 20 people in your office every day BEGGING you to roust more people. And once every fifteen years you get one guy who complains about you violating the 4th amendment.
          This is why we can’t count on the police to follow the Constitution, and the very reason the Supreme Court was created. The police aren’t bad, they are just doing what “we” have been begging them to do. So sad the court has sided with the 20 jack asses complaining about the “4-wheelers going up and down the road” or “those loud jet skies” or “those poor slobs selling crack and living in cardboard boxes”.

          • They accept stolen goods taken from the productive in this country. That alone proves they deny their oath.

            When was the last time they protested against their department stealing via Asset Forfeiture?

            I am placing my bet on never.

  19. Problem: In 1964, my father bought a new Impala for $2,000; it leaked oil and had no AC. Gold’s price then was $35 an ounce. So the car cost 57 ounces of gold. And gold is the only real money.

    Today a new Impala costs about $30,000 and is a much better car, including better gas mileage. Gold today runs $1,321 an ounce. So a new Impala costs 23 ounces of gold, less than half the 1964 cost.

    Gold’s price has been fairly stable since 2011. Interest rates are about they were in the 1960s. Not all is better. Taxes are much higher than then, even after the Trump tax cuts.

    Much of this is a spinoff of Moore’s Law in computers, which of course, as Eric has detailed, run modern cars; they also design cars. The point is cars actually are cheaper than they ever have been — provided you have good credit and don’t get a 7-year loan, but an old fashioned 3-year, or pay cash.

    • All Moore’s Law said was that the number of transistors on a given size of silicon chip would double every 18 months, something which is failing now because X-ray lithography has hit the wall and gamma ray hasn’t evolved enough to replace it.
      The Constitution, at Article 1, Section 10, phrase 5, says that (“No State shall”) “make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts”… That is the closest that any organic law gets in defining gold as the only money. Gold has been up to $1900 and down to $1075 since August 2001. I guess it would depend on how you define stability…
      Most of the tax increases we have had since then have been the hidden taxation of inflation.
      What we await is what the new Fed head will come up with to replace QE.

      • “All Moore’s Law said was that the number of transistors on a given size of silicon chip would double every 18 months, something which is failing now because X-ray lithography has hit the wall and gamma ray hasn’t evolved enough to replace it.”

        Perhaps, but Moore’s Law certainly didn’t fail from 1964-2018, the time I mentioned. During that period, computerization reduced the cost of many things, including car production through CAD and robotics, as well as computerized engines that are more efficient.

        • As high scale integration came on the scene, the cost of the electronics dropped, but the cost of the programming grew exponentially because of the development of GUIs and early AI. Most of the engineering on chips has been done by CADCAM systems that can handle the repetitive designs of digital circuitry. The reduction in cost of the computers has been more than replaced with higher overhead in more highly trained technicians replacing shadetree mechanics. The efficiency of the engines hasn’t been as appreciated by most owners as their inability to fix their own has cost them directly and psychically, especially as their employment prospects start to compromise their ability to pay off their 7 year loans before the trade in value collapses.

      • ” Gold has been up to $1900 and down to $1075″ So what changed? Did the gold change? Or did the Dollar change? I would say the dollar has been down and up – not gold. Via the law of entropy, my house has degraded one more year – and can’t possibly be worth more money. Yet the tax man says it has actually improved, increased in value. By rotting away for one more year it is worth more? No. It is the dollar that is changing. It is the dollar that has no value. My house, my gold, my hard assets, they have not changed, except to be older.

    • That’s an intriguing statistic about gold and cars, but we don’t run on a gold standard. Adjusted for inflation, 2000 bucks in 1964 would be about $16,000 now, so a $30K new Impala is almost twice as expensive in adjusted dollars as it used to be. In some respects the new one is a better car, but much of the price difference is just for techno-glop we don’t need.

    • The gold market is the most manipulated market the world has ever seen. The value of gold as expressed in dollars is not a valid relationship. Was it really “worth” $35 back then? Or was that the value the Government with the guns pegged to the dollar by fiat? You would have to go back to before the value of gold was set by law to get a true correlation.

  20. I heard that the ideal situation is where real interest rates are at around 3%. That would mean that inflation (5%) + 3% = 8%. When mortgage rates were at 8% back in the middle 1990s, housing was still “affordable” in that prices were pretty stable. When the fed started cutting interest rates, prices started rising immediately.

  21. Since my van didn’t really need a rear view mirror, it wound up in the junk box when the first windshield was installed to replace the cracked one it came with, so I will never see the grey hair that I’ll probably never have. My father died, at 81, with a headful of wavy silver hair. He also died with a HOA townhouse with at least a second mortgage. I have never bought a new vehicle, although I’ve driven several of them with 4 or 10 wheels.
    I don’t agree with Gary North on many things, but his automotive philosophy is spot on with mine. He buys used minivans in good enough condition and gives them to his mechanic for his junkyard when appropriate. He also searches for the best models he has owned, assuring that his mechanic will have a good supply of used parts.
    I have only had one auto loan in my life. It was a real beater 1974 Toyota Corolla, bought as is from a common used car lot. I sold it 2 months out of truck driving school. I was a month overdue on my first student loan payment and the proceeds paid for that and the second month. I already had a job and was waiting for a trainer to open up, so I was about to have no need for it. I would have kept it now. It was perfect for towing, with a 4 speed stick.

  22. This question hit me when I was considering using a credit card to buy a used 600.

    I looked at it as, “I can get this bike NOW, enjoy it for years and pay it off over that time, or I can spend those same years trying to find some way to save up with the lump sum of several thousand dollars necessary to buy it outright.”

    If I tried to save up for it, SOMETHING would come up and prevent me from putting together the total amount. Something always comes up. It’s happened before, and it’ll happen again.

    It really wasn’t a choice.

    So I have a CBR, while I get progressively better jobs and pay the balance down. I’m fine with this.

    No, I’m not technically free and clear on the bike, but I acquired a nice motorcycle through legitimate means. And the bank’s getting its money back bit by bit, just as I agreed to do.

    Do I wish we all adhered to the ideal of the yeoman landowner who’s every possession is his free and clear?

    Sure, but then, I also wish people would encourage their athletically-gifted sons to forego the high school football team in favor of pursuing a doctorate in particle physics.

    Gotta use the system as it exists, and try to change it where you can, if you can.

  23. Very important thing you bring up Eric. When I go back home back east, people have this view that in the west, everyone is prosperous. The reality is, while there people still even buy their houses and all on hard cash. Something here one cant imagine….. infact in the west, nobody even seems to buy a phone on cash!

    During the Great Depression (think it was) Will Rogers said that “we are the first nation in the history of the world to go to the poor house in an automobile” (or something like that)…. now we are the first nation(s) to be enslaved in heated leather seats with an excellent sound system running….. how far we’ve come…..

    • Morning, Nasir!

      I tried for decades to get this point across to my parents, who should have been able to comfortably retire back in the ’90s. My dad was a doctor and my mom worked as a paralegal for many years. During their peak earning years, they were making six figures. Both inherited six figure legacies from their parents. They are broke today. My dad died last year and my mom now lives in a small apartment she can just barely afford. Their house had to be short-sold. But it was a nice house, in a fancy neighborhood. Mom always drove a new luxury car, too. The last one was a Lexus RX – which cost her about $40k, plus the many thousands in dealer service bills she paid over its life.

      I have never owned a new car. I have always bought old cars – for cash – and never spent more than $7,500 on any of them. I live out in the Woods, but my house is not mortgaged to my eyeballs. I may not have much in the way of cash on hand, but I have no debt. I live modestly, which makes it possible to do what I do. If I were in debt up to my eyeballs and wanted to drive a new car, I’d still be working for the mainstream media – and you’d never be reading any of the stuff I publish here! 🙂

      • Debt is what has enslaved us; sadly, the only the real popping of the debt bubble is what will also free us. Sadly because the trip down usually is not as nice as the trip up.

      • So true. My parents left the US in the mid 90s, and have been mostly cash ever since. Think because of that, despite a couple unfortunate events in their life, thankfully they are still comfortable off.

        That said, for our generation, another issue now I worry about is that the way money is being printed will we ever even be able to save cash again for anything! As an example, when I first came to the UK in 2005, I could have picked up an old (10 year + old) 911 for under 10K here. I said no – ill get when I have cash. Have cash now, but the old 911s are 30K+…. the cheapest 911 I can get (with reasonable history, 15 years old) is at least 20k!! (Forget whats happened to the housing market and other more concrete assets). Unfortunately for a guy like me who will probably always be tied to a big city due to work – we are pretty screwed it seems….

        • Most free market economists will tell you that there is a severe shortage of cash.
          The majority of FRNs are not in the US, and the majority of Americans couldn’t produce $400 in cash. That will produce opportunities if it becomes fiscally important.

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