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Economic affects

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Alpe d'Huez said:
I think you've nailed it right there. And I think this stretches across the social spectrum. Take a look at all the books over the last decade on making yourself rich. None of them were about innovation, or true entrepreneurship - like starting your own business, or just working hard. They were all about "investing", leveraging, using OPM, and getting the value of your house to rise at a higher rate then your debt. A house "valued" at $400k, that cost about $20k in lumbar, electrical wiring, pipes, drywall, etc.

+1, but I think it goes further than this. It is the rise of the $50K millionaires, the people who make $50K a year but want to appear like they make much more, so they buy everything on credit. Appearance has trumped substance for a long time.

Case in point is a friend of mine who I thought was doing pretty well. Nice SUV. Even though he does not ride much, he bought a bike about as expensive as mine. Large house and all the electronic and household goodies. He got laid off last year and not long after he was asking me to loan him a few bucks. After a long conversation it turned out he did not really own anything. He was in debt up to his eyeballs and was making payments on nearly every thing he "owned." I just found it sort of hilarious that he was rolling in a $70K vehicle but had almost no cash on hand. It was rather pathetic too. Digging yourself into a deep hole just so you can appear more well off than you are is just stupid.

I have no problem with people making money and spending it however they want--well, maybe not completely; I draw the line at poser stupidity like Hummers--but people who pretend they make more than they do have distorted the market for many luxury goods. I suspect that cycling equipment is one of those types of goods. I am certain the luxury car market will contract in the U.S. significantly. I am not so sure about the cycling market because the money to buy top end equipment is much lower than to buy mid-range luxury cars..
Mar 19, 2009
Remember about 4 or 5 years ago when the credit card companies where pushing their "no interest for 6 month or 1 year" deals? Everybody I know, including myself, who took advantage of that opt out of solicitations deal magically stayed out of debt. I don't know where people got the idea that they could charge more in the no interest period than they made at their jobs. These are strange days to say the least.
Mar 18, 2009
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A friend of mine often uses the phrase "the more you have the more you spend" which is I guess the same thing some people think when banks etc are throwing credit at you all the time.

Most sports cost money....I couldn't believe that my brother bought his 11 year old son a $400 hockey stick!!!!!! One good smack by someone else and its done and dusted.

I don't think spending money on something you love - like your bike and cycling is such a bad thing...I am sure there are less worthy things you could waste money on, and get yourself in to a hole of debt.