Friday, September 26, 2008

The Art of Debate Stand-In

In light of this evenings presidential debate, I thought you would find this article interesting. The Art of Debate Stand-In

Did you know there are debate stand-ins? Stand-ins know EVERYTHING about who they are mimicking. How they act, what they will say, how they may throw a punch. I think of it as the best of political acting!

Listen to the debates tonight at 6pm on Northwest Public Radio!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Idaho is More Open and Agreeable Than WA or OR

Really? According to a study published in the Perspective on Psychological Science, Idaho folk are more open, and agreeable than those in Washington or Oregon; Well, by a few points that is.

Read the Wall Street Journal article on this study and see for yourself!

I was surprised to learn that North Dakota is the most extroverted in the Union! I guess I didn't pick up on that after watching Fargo.

Interactive Map of U.S. of Personality

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

This Is All Your Fault! Now Pay Up!

I have been utterly fascinated by the credit crunch. Eagerly awaiting what institution I will partially own thanks to government bailouts. In my pursuit to fully grasp the insane amount of money lost out there, and how this all started, I came across an interesting blog entry. Captain Capitalism

Who's fault is all this? Obama says Bush. McCain says Wall Street. Most Americans say Alan Greenspan. Then Captain Capitalism blows my mind and says it is my fault!

Whoa! Now wait a minute here. We did own a home and at the height of the housing bubble took out a second mortgage. Why? To play the debt game. Take out a lower interest loan to pay off higher interest loans. The value of our house went from $125,000 to $180,000 in less than 5 years. We were "in the money!"

When "we" turned into "I," the house was put on the market. It sold for far less then what we owed. Luckily, our local bank was able to convert the remaining debt into separate loans. That took several agonizing months, and we didn't always pay then.

It was a classic case of living beyond your means.

How many Americans do so today? Top Economist Says A Lot Do And of those, how many defaulted on their credit cards? Their home loans? Their car loans?

There is plenty of blame to go around. Lenders looking for a commission, predatory loan officers working in an unregulated environment (or working around regulations). But if I was honest with myself, and if other Americans were too, we have to see the greed.

It is so much easier, and feels nicer to blame someone else for our own issues. But can we continue to afford it?

This experience of mine is the reason why I changed my lifestyle. It all came down to two questions: What is real? What do I own? The answers back then were raw and brought me to the basics.

It's time we all do the same.

Here are some links I have found helpful to put money, debt and true wealth into perspective. If you have suggestions, please advise so I can share with other listeners and readers.

Marketplace Money

Financial Peace University

Suze Orman

Oprah: Get Out of Debt

UPDATE: I heard Fresh Air today and found the discussion with Michael Greenberger about the credit crisis very helpful and insightful.