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LuckyOne

Looks Like A Good Read .......

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It sounds like this book is really about explaining that the economy doesn't produce enough enough wealth for all of us to lead the lifestyle that they want without relying on debt.

Debt used to exist to allow for the rational, inter-temporal shifting of income and expenditure. It seems to have become a permanent way to fund a lifestyle that will never be paid for from income. It used to be paid for by the appreciation of house prices. This game looks to be over.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=206...id=a3v40GpnGL3Y

Peter S. Goodman is a reporter with a valuable thesis, reams of anecdotes and a habit of being in the right place at the right time.

He puts these assets to work in a persuasive book on an all-too-familiar topic, “Past Due: The End of Easy Money and the Renewal of the American Economy.†His argument: Americans became profligate borrowers in recent years partly because the economy hasn’t created enough jobs capable of financing a middle-class lifestyle.

“Millions of people have been living beyond their incomes for the simple reason that those incomes have been outstripped by the cost of middle-class American life,†he writes.

Extravagance certainly helped stoke the crisis, Goodman says. Americans didn’t really need that special trip to Belize or those extra flat-screen TVs in their bedrooms.

“Rather than bingeing on finance borrowed against a supposedly fantastic future, we must figure out how to generate enough income to live on -- as individual households and as a society.â€

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It sounds like this book is really about explaining that the economy doesn't produce enough enough wealth for all of us to lead the lifestyle that they want without relying on debt.

Debt used to exist to allow for the rational, inter-temporal shifting of income and expenditure. It seems to have become a permanent way to fund a lifestyle that will never be paid for from income. It used to be paid for by the appreciation of house prices. This game looks to be over.

The interesting thing is that if the brakes had been put on individual debt accumulation, then the effects of the hollowing out process on the economy would have appeared much more quickly.

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15 years ago I worked in newspaper production alongside 32 men.

All had started around 20 years previously and a job 'in the print' was a coveted role, often only achieved through nepotism. It involved a seven year apprenticeship but was widely acknowledged to be a secure job for life with the added attraction of generous overtime.

The guys I worked with had all bought modest houses and their attitude across the board was that basic pay paid for basic living - this is how they paid for their mortgages, utility bills and food. Many cycled to work bringing home-made lunches.

Overtime meant starting work at 6am on a Saturday, something which they were all glad to do as it paid for the 'extras' - the family holiday, Christmas, car upgrades, house extensions, etc. As one man explained to me why he was so happy to work on a Saturday: 'I can go to the pub guilt-free tonight. If I went to the pub without working today, I'd feel as if I was taking bread out of my daughter's mouth.' None of those guys had credit cards or loans. All were prepared to work hard to achieve a decent lifestyle.

All were made redundant in favour lower production costs and higher directors' and shareholders' pay.

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15 years ago I worked in newspaper production alongside 32 men.

All had started around 20 years previously and a job 'in the print' was a coveted role, often only achieved through nepotism. It involved a seven year apprenticeship but was widely acknowledged to be a secure job for life with the added attraction of generous overtime.

The guys I worked with had all bought modest houses and their attitude across the board was that basic pay paid for basic living - this is how they paid for their mortgages, utility bills and food. Many cycled to work bringing home-made lunches.

Overtime meant starting work at 6am on a Saturday, something which they were all glad to do as it paid for the 'extras' - the family holiday, Christmas, car upgrades, house extensions, etc. As one man explained to me why he was so happy to work on a Saturday: 'I can go to the pub guilt-free tonight. If I went to the pub without working today, I'd feel as if I was taking bread out of my daughter's mouth.' None of those guys had credit cards or loans. All were prepared to work hard to achieve a decent lifestyle.

All were made redundant in favour lower production costs and higher directors' and shareholders' pay.

Bloody Eddie Shah !

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