Monday, August 14, 2006

the death of debt

It’s a strange idea, living beyond your means, even if nearly all of us have done it. In a way it’s a form of gambling, assuming that you’ll have the wherewithal to pay for things in the future that you just have to have now. As with all gambling it is, well, a gamble.

Apparently Britons now owe a trillion quid, on mortgages, credit cards, loans etc. And now, with the economy stammering a little, the roosters are coming home to roost. The interest rate was raised by a quarter percent last week, and will almost certainly go up again in the autumn. Inflation is starting to reappear in the system.

The biggest effect of debt is that it already inflates prices, particularly the lunatic ‘value’ of property today. Property prices are extremely fragile, and could crash any time soon, especially with the pressure of increasing interest rates. Houses simply aren’t ‘worth’ the mad prices that they still fetch today. Most of the Barrett Estate type boxes are no better than shoddy coffins for those left behind in the future, especially those built in cities, suburbs, at sea level or on flood plains.

The only real item of value is land, defensible and productive land, well above sea level and well outside of the cities and bigger towns. The only other ‘investment’ I’d ever consider is gold, which is a wonderfully mobile and recognisable source of mobile capital, and would act as real ‘money’ if we don’t adjust to a solar economy soon and the old hippy oil-based economy collapses quickly, which seems more likely with every passing day.

How to escape this? Simple really, as I’ve said before the trick is location, location, location. A decent detached house, far from big cities but near a working or future railway or tramway, in a defensible location and preferably with enough land (and no more) to grow your food and enough wood for warmth. Your own windmill, solar panels or water power for electricity if you need it, a good woodburning stove for heat and cooking. Become a member of the community now, not when things get bad. A food store, a wood store and perhaps a light railway to move stuff around. Your own water supply from a stream or spring.

Escape the credit trap by paying your credit card off in full every month, don’t give these chinless buggers a penny in interest! Pay off your mortgage as quickly as you can. If you do have assets, possessions or cash start converting it into gold coins whenever gold takes a small dip in its current bull run.

Start redesigning your life so you’re not reliant on using a car - these will be unuseable within ten to twenty years, possibly less. You need to plan ahead now. Let the hippies stew in their own juices in twenty years time when they’re stuck in the suburbs with a 4x4 and a flooded Barrett Home! You’re smarter than that, ‘cos you’re reading this blog ... Posted by Picasa

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