The economy

March 16, 2011

I am fascinated by many things but what fascinates me most is our hunger for high-tech gadgets. And especially that the Ipad2, something no one really “needs,” has sold out.

The economic indicators in many U.S. cities remains grim.

Take where I live, for example.

  • The unemployment rate in Silicon Valley is around 11 percent.
  • California’s foreclosure rate rose 60 percent in January and was the third highest in the nation.
  • People are simply walking away from their mortgages — and their homes.
  • By all accounts, people are staggering under the weight of personal debt

And yet, the lines to order the new Ipad2 were huge. Retail locations sold out. There is a month-long wait for online orders. Sales estimates are between 500,000 to 1 million units.

So I have to ask: Where is this money coming from?

And how is it that people can walk away from real estate commitments they made?

Oh, I understand financial challenges. We are under water on our Monterey peninsula condo. Our tenant defrays less than half of our expenses on it. However, we pay that mortgage every month. Fact is, I made that deal. It turned out to be a bad one, but, nonetheless I own it.

But many people I know do not own their bad deals. They walk away and some have done so even as they buy another, cheaper property. {It’s ethicallly wrong, in my book.}

I love toys, believe me. And I am an enthusiastic spender of money. But I spend only money I have.

How long can we continue to consume beyond our means?

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