Barf

Aunt Janet pontificated again today. I think this used to be known as Humphrey-Hawkins testimony, a term I kind of liked.

I don’t know what she said, but if it was indeed to congress, the picture that comes to mind is of the ugly girl from school who worked hard and got somewhere talking to even uglier people who did not.

And we don’t need to know what she said because markets, bless their wee souls, told us everything. Look at a chart of the TY or US futures, daily bars, and you’ll see the rush of people buying them.

The only vaguely interesting question is Why? For safety? For the yield? Because everything else looks broken? When all one’s other toys are in pieces, we go back to the simple things, like buckets and spades. Long bonds at this point are the toys for two-year olds. Not broken, but not really of any use either. And certainly not fun.

General Moochers

It wasn’t an argument.

You cannot argue with someone who doesn’t know anything.

SuperSteve is a partisan big government fool, who still believes that As goes GM, so goes America.

Yeah. Had I been more nimble, I would have looked at my phone and asked:

What year is this again? Is it still 1950?

Apparently it’s right there in the constitution: GM must be bailed out, no matter how cretinous the management, nor indolent the workers.

Fuck them.

Misery

So much misery. So much. And that’s in wealthy countries. I cannot imagine living in Sudan, where everything is going bad…or has already gone bad.

Our misery, our abundance misery, is entirely of our own making. Most people in the US make enough money. What that do not do is husband that money properly. The spending side of their lives does not remain less than their income side.

Every night and day here in what many would call a minor offshoot of paradise, I see poor, indigent, struggling people. And they’re all drinking convenience-store fizzy drinks, or smoking, or doing nothing at all when they should be working. These folks choose poorly, and so are poor.

My utopia is a place where people can make a living and not rely at all on the largesse of their neighbors. That largesse includes the awful re-distribution of my money that governments somehow feel is their bailiwick.

Yes. Genuine hardship unrelated to work and spending habits exist. They are more than adequately helped by private charities, and would be overwhelmed if the government removed itself from the business. In other words, an already generous nation would become more so if it didn’t have to support clowns in “departments”.

Becoming independent of charity, hand-outs, government “programs” and even the money from rich uncle Don is an aim we should all have.

Restraint. Self-control. Prioritization. Self-denial. Work. Budgeting. These are the methods by which anyone can avoid misery.

Frictionless

I know why.

I know why people are so poor at making and keeping budgets.

I also know why people are so poor at making and keeping budgets and, even when faced with the overwhelming need for both, do not.

Optimism. Compartmentalization. Laziness.

The act of creating a budget appears – to the newbie – as an act of failure. Either I’m not making enough money to pay all my bills on time and save something for later, or I’m hopeless at prioritizing my spending. Both can be internalized as personality defects, especially when we compare ourselves to others who appear to not have such character flaws.

The truth is that creating and sticking to a budget is an act of success. And we can remind ourselves of how successful we are every day, because we need use our money every day. When we spend money or receive money, we need to refer back to the budget, which can remind us of the power we have over our finances.

But it’s not a sexy message. It’s boring to even write about. Discipline usually is. What we need is a pathway to frictionless budgeting – budgeting that’s so easy that it appears to take no time or effort.