Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Renting Makes More Financial Sense Than Homeownership

From Yahoo Finance:

Businesses are great investments while houses are poor ones, so I'd rather rent the latter and own the former.

I just knew it! I've previously made the case for renting vs. buying in favour of using a high-interest CMT earning 6% or more compounded quarterly as a wealth generation vehicle. The writer points out that houses provide zero real returns after inflation, while stocks consistently provide 7%, so it looks like I wasn't far off the mark!

Maybe a time will come when renters are afforded some respect yet!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Note to self

(to be read in the future)

ha ha ha... fuck you

More thoughts on money as debt

Watched the excellent YouTube series on money as debt again this morning. Was thinking about the proposal towards the end to replace the fractional reserve banking system with permanent currency based on value and harnessing renewable energy.

I think it's a great idea, and it got me to thinking about thin film solar. I'm very hopeful and optimistic for our future with the emergence of such energy sources. It would be great if existing home owners would invest in similar technologies en mass to increase demand and in so doing reduce the price.

One problem though is a lack of incentive - energy bills really aren't a major part of the cost of living in a country like Australia, it's just not very expensive compared to consumables, transportation, and more importantly home ownership itself which can only be achieved for most through a life-long commitment to a mortgage. The last thing home owners who are free of their mortgage payments will want to do is spend another $10,000 or so on their home for very little perceptible return.

It will more likely be corporations who have large energy bills that will invest heavily in alternative energy sources, such as the Googleplex, the roof of which is reassuringly plastered with solar panels that produce 30% of their energy.

Right now, I'm really not interested in committing our family to filling the role of turning a half-million dollar debt into six or seven hundred thousand dollars worth of interest so the banking cartels can continue to repress renewable energy and perpetuate rising debt through military spending on incessant, needless wars.

How about you? Waist-deep in a mortgage, burning cash on rent like myself, living in a hippy commune? What can we do to ensure freedom for our children of the future?

Monday, September 22, 2008


A day in the life of a rent paying tennant in Sydney, Australia:

Just got a letter in the mail that has completely ruined my day:

I have received a call from the Stata Manager of the complex and they have advised that they are concerned that the gardens are not being maintained to the appropriate standards. This is a breech of your tenancy agreement.

The tennant will during the term of this agreement ensure that:

  1. Such grounds and gardens as form part of the residentaial premises are kept tidy & free of rubbish; and

  2. all waste is placed in bins provided

In future this area will be monitored through the year to ensure that the grounds are kept tidy.

We anticipate that the above matter will be attended to promptly & a further inspection will be carried out within 2 weeks of this letter to ensure this work has been done.

Yours Sincerely
(name withheld)

What fills my stomach with bile besides the unnecessarily confrontational tone of the letter, is that when we moved in the gardens were basically full of shit. We took photos:

Pile of shit

and had our Property Manager inspect the premises in person and were promised the situation would be taken care of and told not to worry about it...

Truth be told, in the winter months a tree which has grown over the fence from a neighbouring yard renders the back yard completely uninhabitable, and having not gone out there for some time there is some more grass that has grown up from the cracks between the old, broken, and uneven paving stones.

How about instead of shooting off a harsh, nasty letter, just taking 2 minutes to call and say "hope every thing's fine, just FYI the back yard could do with a bit of weeding, OK, take care now, bye bye"?


Just for the record, we're paying $2,175 a month.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Empires and Entropy

Was talking about the futility of empire building today and making the case for entropy working against it. The gist of it being that the natural order of things is usually to achieve a balance or equilibrium.

My point was that modern fascist dictatorships historically have only succeeded in being relatively short lived, not because they are inherently evil as such, but because attempting to control something as organic as human affairs in that manner is contrary to the very nature of life itself - which is to continually change, adapt, and evolve, not to stagnate or even regress.


Came across a video of a certain senator speaking out against the empire building tendencies of the republican party: someone predicted this economic collapse a year ago

The money quote: (pun not intended)

we have to "reject the notion that we need to run an empire, we can't afford it, it's going to come down, it always comes down, it has come down all throughout history because eventually the currency is destroyed"

The destruction of an empire's currency is surely an indicator of it's pending demise.

My belief is that the fundamental floor of empire building war mongers is to overlook one very simple, and incredibly obvious fact: empires are made of people, genetic organisms, that thrive on change, discovery, and achievement.

These would be dictators deny their own true nature and start to believe their own lies - that they are working to build a better future for humanity - when in practice what they set about doing is creating division and segregation by syphoning out the toils of the many and depositing it in the hands of the fortunate few. They willingly blind themselves to their own internal corruption and lies. They run full steam ahead to the demise of the economy, the nation's currency, and the detriment of the world around them.

Hopefully the main difference between aspiring empires of today, and the great empires of the past is how swiftly they fall.

Eight years has not been swift enough for one evil empire in particular.

The disheartening thing is that it really doesn't have to be that way. People are smart, and compassionate, and will usually work together for mutual benefit in preference to serving their own needs at greater expense. Life takes the easiest path that leads to further life, and over time achieves a natural equilibrium. The common mistake is to use too small a scale of time for reference.

Watch this animation of 3000 years of imperial history of the middle east for example. In the current socio economic climate, modern empires like Nazi Germany and Communist Russia rise and fall in periods of time that are measured in decades rather than centuries, and it should prove to be an exponential curve.

I just wish that future empires would instead just not bother, and instead turn to renewable energy and true freedom and liberty for all, not just the fortunate few.